3 Industries Where There Is Definitely Still A Place For Direct Marketing
In today's marketing world, most of the buzz is around ad placements using third-party proxies. It seems so much easier in various ways: you don't need to worry about getting your message right or finding the right people, because you can simply pick out some influencers, podcasts and/or channels with valuable audiences and let them act as your go-betweens.
But does that mean that the time of reaching out to people directly is coming to an end? You could forgive some for considering it, particularly given the perilous social media environment we must all contend with. Make one false move -- choose the wrong term or mis-time a post -- and you can be utterly crushed. Surely it's safer to stay in the background?
Well, not necessarily. Sticking to indirect promotion does protect you, but it also limits what you can achieve -- and there are certain industries in which the direct approach remains utterly invaluable. Let's take a look at just 3 of them:
Literary tastes are incredibly varied, which makes book promotion somewhat tricky outside of those titles with true mainstream appeal. Back when every aspiring author needed a book deal to gain any traction, there was less competition, and it was viable to rely on magazines and word of mouth. Today, anyone can get published, and the market is inundated with graphic novels, comic books, young-adult dramas, and every other form of literature you can imagine.
Couple the explosive growth of the literary world with the steady decline of true touchstone works and you have a recipe for stressed promoters. If you want to market something niche (e.g. an esoteric dark romantic fantasy ebook from a first-time author), the best approach is to use direct marketing -- identify some prospective buyers who have previously enjoyed comparable works (or works by comparable authors) and reach out to them directly.
Selling property can be a hugely drawn-out process. Not only is there a lot of legal paperwork involved, complicating matters, but there's also the challenge inherent to finding someone willing to pay a large sum of money on the specific place you're trying to offload. If you had a 2-bedroom bungalow with roof problems in a rural patch of North Carolina, you could list it on all viable listing sites, but it might not stick out much. There has to be something better.
Well, there obviously is. Social media is always illuminating, and it can provide a great deal of insight into what people in particular areas are looking for. If you adopt a direct approach to marketing your property, you can monitor social media for mentions of people in suitable locations who are looking to buy, and contact them directly with details of your place. First impressions really matter, and if you can sell them on it with your description, you can massively increase the likelihood that they'll come back to you with an offer.
Reducing a car purchase to a set of features and qualities has never really worked (barring occasional exceptions in the form of people who simply don't get attached to their vehicles). Most motorists care about the aesthetics of what they drive -- they associate their cars with freedom, adventure, and escapism. This is why car ads are so often vague and abstract. The more you know about the person you're marketing to (ideally through building a rapport), the more you can cater your pitch to their unique preferences.
It's all about concentrating on the most pertinent benefits. Marketing to a couple with children? Emphasize the spacious interior and spill-proof fabric. Marketing to a survivalist with a great love of the wilderness? Point out the quality steering and rugged design. The exact same car can be promoted in many different ways -- and since prospective buyers often want to be convinced (it's tiring looking at countless cars), a personalized effort could get the job done.
Direct marketing -- marketing directly to prospective buyers instead of using an intermediary -- is challenging and not ideal for every industry. It will always be an invaluable part of selling niche or high-cost items, though, and sellers in the publishing, real estate and motoring worlds can use it to fantastic effect.
This contributed article was was written by Rodney Laws with Ecommerce Platforms.