Direct Response Marketing: Your Way To Branding Success

Looking for new and innovative ways to strengthen your brand, product or idea with a loyal follower base? There are undoubtedly a variety of ways in which brands target their market making it is necessary to say that brands cannot exist for long without an interaction channel or a connection with its target market. From TV adverts to billboards, posters and other promotional means, brand owners aim to create maximum hype around the solution they’re selling. It is tempting to follow the bandwagon and use the prevalent marketing means, but when building a marketing strategy, one must evaluate the costs and benefits coupled with the identification of the most effective marketing channel.

Here, we will analyse the need to define the marketing strategy and the vision that sets the resources in the right direction and the types of strategies including Direct Response Marketing and Image Marketing or Branding, the comparison as well as the connection between the two.  Our focus would be mainly on addressing the challenges faced by small business owners who are unable to spare thousands of dollars for their marketing budget. In addition, we will analyse how marketing or direct response marketing is essential for a successful branding campaign and the overall strategy as a whole. So, read on after the jump to find out more about these marketing concepts, comparison and their impact on the overall consumer base keeping the goal of increasing ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) and ‘AVPU’ (Average Value Per User) in focus.

When a core product (with a relevant vision-mission) is defined having a direct problem-solution link, it must reverberate with and convince the target market of its potential value based on which a relevant price is set. No matter how crudely we look at this scenario, strategists cannot help but treat brands and their value chain like influential human personalities (or brand image in this context) engulfed by followers (or customers/consumers). Take the Twitter leader-follower relationship or LinkedIn Influencers as an example where personalities market their ideas to a set of well-defined user base (referring to their profiles that details their location, preferences, identity and views) with an easy response medium that generates enough hype and a perception of direct communication with the personality being followed.

Now, apply the same instance to a brand, and replace the human personality with the brand or product itself. The more human the relationship, the more loyal will be the customer base. On the other hand, when we talk about revenue, it does not simply refer to the concept discussed but stresses on the decision making aspect for a customer/consumer as the make-or-break situation for the brand, at hand. This is where the mental or neural conditioning, the sub conscious and the need for effective branding comes to view. When we couple both the one-to-one relationship (achieved through direct response marketing) and the psychological framework necessary for a desired action, a sale is made.

Social media Marketing

What is Direct Response Marketing?

According to SuccessWise, Direct Response Marketing is “designed to evoke an immediate response and compel prospects to take some specific action, such as picking up the phone and calling for more information, placing an order or being directed to a web page”.

In simple words, this type of marketing allows a one-to-one connection with the customer such that a response can easily be traced back to the source and a direct response is encouraged. The advantage is obvious, rather than investing huge sums into advertisements that are broadcasted to all sorts of people, direct response marketing empowers the marketer in maintaining a personalized relationship with the target market and a better understanding of the trends and needs of the relevant segments, making it easier to redefine marketing strategy for good. Regarding the components of direct response marketing, Techopedia explains on the following key elements:

– A proposal

– Ample information needed for customer consideration

– A clear call to action

– Options for response via methods like a toll free number, email or Web page

The Direct Response Marketing Challenge

To think that Direct Response Marketing can solely deliver accomplished targets to you, is but a fallacy. In essence, this form only comprises of a well-thought out and appealing value proposition coupled with a measurable and scalable response mechanism. The implication is that a brand can create awareness around its product or existence while a much more clearer picture is provided by other marketing channels. In short, marketing channels work best in synchronization and not in isolation. Direct Response Marketing presents details in a readable and understandable manner while image branding can add in the emotional aspect so as to boost product impressions (triggering market curiosity) and instilling the product in the customer’s mind. Remember, gathering attention and directing it towards a decision using emotions (such as curiosity), is perhaps the most effective way of securing customer loyalty (quality is a pre-requisite).  If we analyze this in further depth, it is important to note that branding concerns defining brand identity a

According to experts, “News-style advertising gets up to 500% greater response than color brochures, business cards, and all other forms of product or image advertising.”

Keeping Branding In Context

The Business Dictionary defines branding as “the process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers”.

In other words, branding deals with shaping the target individual’s mind in a manner that a sense of loyalty is associated with a particular brand. A natural outcome is that successful branding would lead not only to an increase in sales of the product being promoted but also other products offered by the brand, itself. In the end, it is only a matter of trust, if the user trusts the experience provided by the brand for a purchased product, this would translate in future for relevant purchases. In reality, who would you trust? If a service provider’s strength and value offer matches your needs and constraints, you would definitely opt for this rather than a new brand you know little of. In modern times, social network or the wider net, plays an influential role in decision making and this is where direct response marketing shares ground with branding.

The Advertising Funnel

(Image Courtesy: Yahoo!7 Direct Response)


Online Direct Response Marketing Approaches

Since online marketing is one of the most important means of generating a direct response, it is relevant to analyze the most common pricing models or marketing approaches are CPM (Cost per mille where mille equals a thousand), CPC (Cost Per Click) and CPA (Cost Per Action or Acquisition). CPM or the cost per thousand impressions is like buying running advertisements in bulk durations and is suited for organizations and entities with a sizeable amount of marketing budget. CPC or cost per click is the most popular means approach in online marketing since the marketer only has to pay for users that actually land on to their content. CPA or cost per action/acquisition allows a marketer to pay only upon a successful transaction or purchase. CPM pricing per impression is usually the lowest while CPA pricing per action is the highest with reliability as the only tradeoff.

1. CPM (Recommended for Large scale campaigns)

2. CPC (Recommended for Low budget campaigns)

3. CPA (Recommended for ROI enthusiasts)

In conclusion, keeping in mind the advertising funnel starting with awareness till purchase, direct response marketing coupled with branding can help you achieve your sales targets in a much more organized and refined manner. Feel free to share your opinions and experiences in our comments section.