Hundreds of millions of fish in the sea, and I am still single as a Pringle. I dress nice when I meet people, my Instagram game is on fleek, and I even smile on public transportation. Yet, here I am. At this point I feel like I need to rent a billboard on a major highway and throw my phone number up there. I know I am not alone in asking the questions: what am I doing wrong? What am I missing? Why is no one responding to what I’m putting out into the world?
Marketers have the same questions when promoting their businesses. They’re projecting to the hundreds and millions of potential customers that they have an amazing product or service that their audience needs to buy. Marketers know there are consumers who want what their business offers, so why are they seeing no return on investment (ROI) for their ads? The missing link in both of these scenarios is having a target market—narrowing your audience from the big, loud world down to a certain area or psychographic and focusing efforts to elicit a larger response from that target group.
“Direct Marketers Don’t Care How Many People They Reach”
One man who understands the importance of focus in a direct marketing campaign is Seth Godin. The stuff of legend here at IWCO Direct, Seth’s blogs are often forwarded around the office and referenced in our blogs. One that popped up in an email chain recently was especially remarkable. He authored a short post condensing the large topic of target markets and marketing personalization to a remarkably small, easy-to-digest size. It read:
“Direct marketers don’t care how many people they reach. They care what percentage take action. Brand marketers have trouble measuring action, so all they have to work with is reach. If you can measure, stop worrying about big numbers when it comes to reach. Run away from the Super Bowl or a billboard on the main highway. Small audiences are your friend, because small audiences are specific, and specific increases your percentage.”
He just streamlined into six sentences what my college textbooks had spent chapters trying to explain. (If only I had known I could have read this instead of 120 pages of text in a dimly lit library and gotten the same result.)
Narrowing the area and focus of a marketing campaign allows you to really zero in on what that your customer wants. This starts with the ability to tailor your message to the geographic, psychographic, demographic, and behavioral characteristics of potential consumers. That’s something you learn in a basic level business course: the theory of how to increase your ROI, not how to actually translate that into the real world.
Direct Marketing Personalization Thinks Beyond “Reach”
If you read closely, Seth references direct marketers, not brand marketers, as those who care about ROI the most. The difference between these two is small but important because that’s the difference that gives direct marketers the edge in increasing ROI percentages.
Direct marketers identify their audience and send a message directly to the potential customer via mail, email, or social platform. This single-customer targeting allows for marketing personalization to each individual. That is why personalization is the key to improving ROI—because it puts the emphasis on the individual customer, not the anonymous masses. Seth points out that brand marketers still use reach as the main measure of an ad campaign, but reach can’t tell you if you’re resonating with a potential customer or just a two-second blip on their radar.
In light of Seth’s poignant post, maybe a billboard isn’t the way I’ll solve my dating problems—clearly, there are better ways to find (and be found by) “the one.” IWCO Direct’s marketing strategy and creative services teams specialize in finding the right audience and targeting them with relevant messaging that demonstrates how your product or service meets their needs—right now. For more information on how you can increase your ROI with targeted, relevant direct marketing personalization, check out the rest of IWCO.com.
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