March 14, 2018, posted by Tony Quin
Using Direct Response for Acquisition
With a well-prepared marketing plan and a stable, healthy brand in hand you are ready to introduce your product to the world. To do this, you will use two types of brand advertising: Brand campaigns and Direct Response.
Direct Response is technically any ad that is designed to elicit a measurable response. However, now that almost all advertising is measurable that distinction is less relevant. A better definition is that it’s an ad that is designed to lead directly to a sales action. That might be a banner ad that sends you to a landing page where you can watch a video, or a TV spot with a toll-free number to call. Basically, a direct response ad is designed to get the consumer to take an action that begins the sales cultivation process.
The degree to which a brand can use direct response techniques is really a function of the offering and the situation. If your ad is giving away new cars for free, it wouldn’t need much of a branding foundation to get a response. A good rule of thumb is if your audience is people who are already actively interested in your category, direct response can work, but if you are introducing new ideas, new products or new brands, you have to start with brand campaigns.
Perhaps a unique form of direct response advertising is search. With paid search, the idea is to rank at the top of the results, so the viewer sees you first. Best of all, you only pay if someone clicks your ad. Ranking of paid search results is determined by who offers the most money for a potential click. Since everybody conducts searches for almost everything they buy, paid search is an essential part of presenting your brand to prospects already actively looking.
Organic search results are even more valuable than paid results because they are not ads and feel, therefore, more credible and trustworthy. According to Enquisite, organic search results are 8.5x more likely to be clicked than paid results. Google works very hard to constantly improve the quality of the results they deliver for each inquiry, that’s so that the search results we all get will be as relevant and valuable as possible. This is also how Google secures their value.
Organic search results, like paid search, are a great way to get “found” by people actively looking for a solution. In general, they are less effective for introducing new ideas or brands, but with a little creativity that can be made to work for that too. Getting to the top of the organic listings involves a combination of quality content and good SEO (search engine optimization). Rankings are determined by things like the number of other sites that link to your content, or the number of times that people have shared it. These are measures of quality, which is another way to say how important the content is to the audience. SEO is the process you use to make your content more likely to be found and ranked highly by the search engines, which send automated programs, called spiders, to crawl around the internet 24/7 looking for content to rank. The important thing to remember is that today search is ultimately all about how good your content is. Great content gets found, ranked highly and shared, ordinary content does not.
Search is a fundamental part of any modern marketing plan, but it only works if it is connected to a marketing system. It’s like being a door-to-door salesman. When someone answers the door, you’ve got to be ready with your pitch and your samples. Similarly, when you click on a search result, it should be just the beginning of the sales cultivation process. This is particularly important to remember when you are introducing your brand to prospects for the first time. Search is amazing, but only if it connects to a smart marketing system.
Introducing your Brand
With the insights and strategies that you have developed as part of your marketing plan, plus a strong, healthy brand, you are ready to introduce your brand to your prospects. The four main areas of activity during this phase will be:
1. Brand Advertising
- Brand campaigns establish the value for the brand with new prospects.
- Direct response campaigns focus on a call-to-action.
- Paid and organic search attracts in-market prospects early.
2. Media planning & buying
- Media, especially digital media has become very measurable.
- The analysis of what the metrics mean gives you invaluable insights.
- Data can tell a brand what’s working and what’s not.
3. Brand Activation
- Awareness and acquisition tactics through Owned and Earned media.
- Influencer marketing
- Relationship marketing to leverage social media and ratings & reviews.
- Experiential marketing
- Creativity differentiates
- Design creativity in customer experience is important