To my mind, a successful direct marketing campaign starts and finishes with the customer. So, when I think I may have some ‘great idea’, the first area I work on is determining the target market.
The reason for this is simple: You can have the best product or service in the world, promoted with the best ‘award’ winning creative executions, but if your message is sent to the wrong people it will fall on deaf ears.
Obviously, you have to get the right message to the right people!
Aside from identifying the key attributes of your target customer (e.g. age, income and marital status), you also need to determine the market size. Determining your target market also helps you clearly develop and frame your offers, messages, communication devices, call to action and select the most appropriate medium.
Once you’ve identified the best target market, determine the size of the ‘universe’ – the number of people that match your target market profile. To size your universe, start by identifying how many of your existing customers best match the target group. After that, look for purchased lists through list brokers that also meet your target market.
When you know the size of the universe, you can start to develop your Direct Marketing Plan and determine which mediums might work best, considering the number of potential customers you can access that meet your target market.
If your universe is small, don’t be too worried, this could be an opportunity to come up with some ideas on how you might combine different mediums together – direct mail or email deployments with telemarketing follow up, for instance, to maximize your response.
Finding the Right People!
To help you figure out who are the Right People to sell to, start by asking yourself some basic questions:
Who would benefit most from what you have to offer?
When you ask yourself this question, be very specific about the types of people that would quickly see the benefits of what you have to offer, those that will quickly understand that it represents value for money for them.
What is their demographic and psychographic profile: What do they look like? How do they behave?
When we speak about demographic profiles, what we’re talking about are the common elements (‘selects’) that database marketers usually have tagged to their customer records. Typically, basic selects are age, household income and marital status.
Do some research: find out as many of the common traits about the people who would be most interested in your product and the things they have in common.
- Are they mainly in a certain age group?
- Are they single, married or live in a de facto relationship?
- Is there a gender bias? Is the product or service more suited to males or females?
- Do these people generally have a certain household income?
- Is their household income relevant? If so, what are the minimum and maximum household income ranges?
Their psychographic profile basically refers to those attitudinal or behavioural characteristics they may share. Consider the things they like to do that compliment the product or service you’re selling:
- Are they also golfers?
- Do they like fine dining?
- Do they like to travel a particular way or go to particular holiday destinations?
- Do they share common job types – are they professionals, if so, what type(s) of professions fit?
How do they like to be contacted?
This question can be a little tricky to answer, especially if you’re reaching out to prospective customers through telemarketing. Over the years, most of the research I’ve read on how consumers like to be contacted indicates that most people prefer not to be contacted by phone.
So, does that mean we discount telemarketing campaigns out of hand? No, not really.
What I’ve found from personal experience is if you’ve targeted the right people and present them with an offer they’re really interested in, they won’t mind getting a call from you about it. The same goes with emails, direct mail or letter box drops.
What they don’t want is to be bothered with something they have no interest in. However, if what you’re contacting them about, interests them, and you have a terrific offer, most people will be happy to hear with you.
Particularly, if you get to the point quickly!
Getting the answers to all these types of questions is crucial to ensuring your offers are targeted to the right type of people. Knowing all you can about your target market will also help you understand how to communicate with them, when to communicate with them and how to frame an offer that will motivate them to act!