The Case For Direct Response Marketing in Small Businesses
Saturday, September 30
Written from my mother’s busy hair salon in Annerley, far too early on an otherwise splendid weekend morning.
I’m going to ask you three short questions—humour me and follow along, as they’ll help you understand my point better.
Would a small business attempt to run their business like a much larger one?
Would a small business attempt to train and hire like a much larger one might?
So, why is it that most small businesses attempt to advertise like much larger ones do?
Well, I’d argue it’s simply a complete lack of understanding and a fear of standing out.
Nothing wrong with that, and let me explain why, because it makes complete sense without the right information!
You see, small businesses look at what other larger, more successful companies are doing now with their advertising, assume it works, then decide to imitate it. Fairly intuitive most would agree.
But, also, completely wrong in most cases.
Now, for those enlightened to direct response marketing, you need not read any further...
… you’ll already be aware of the benefits of this mostly ‘unknown’ style of marketing and why doing what seems smart (modelling off established brand advertising) is actually dumb.
So, let’s make this clear:
If you’re a new company, with a small budget, and rely on sales now to keep your doors open, then you’re in need of direct response marketing.
Yet, too often I see the opposite occur.
That is, businesses using brand-style marketing when they have no rational reason to do so.
You see, it’s all well and good for large companies to use brand marketing because the brand is often what acquires new customers, not their current marketing efforts.
They can afford to have a single strapline on a billboard and still expect customers to buy from them.
You can’t afford this.
The two biggest reasons simply being budget, and time.
Most businesses don’t have the budget for a sustained brand-building campaign. And, while this marketing activity is important, you first need a solid platform on which a dollar spent reliably brings back multiple dollars in return - this is where direct response marketing shines.
So, all your communications must ask for an action and it must be trackable. No cute or clever copy, it must read clear and be simple.
No one has ever been told off for making something too clear or easy to understand.
Directors who insist on having their company communications undecipherable to a layman are effectively asking for less sales at the benefit to his or her own ego.
When plainly stated like this, it’s all too clear what’s more important to the overall success of a business.
Which brings me to the second matter, time.
Many companies simply haven’t been around for long enough to be top of mind for a consumer, or they haven’t formulated a long-term marketing strategy and followed it.
This is especially true for start-ups and new business ventures, yet it’s these same companies that insist on marketing that doesn’t elicit an immediate response from a consumer. Mysteriously disappearing thanks to a lack of cashflow isn’t uncommon for a new company that poured money into branding rather than direct marketing and sales.
Now, I am not averse to brand building, but the proportion of budget allocated to direct response for smaller or newer businesses should heavily lie in favour of the latter. Thankfully, I’m seeing more of this ‘common-sense’ marketing as ad budget is shifted from print to digital.
Think of it this way:
If a prospect arrives to your website and you don’t get their details or make the sale, you’ve most likely lost them forever.
They won’t remember who you are or what you do as soon as they close the tab. Even worse, you may inadvertently prompt your prospect into doing more research, sending them into the hands of a business that uses direct response marketing who then closes the sale.
This is what many companies are getting wrong with their content marketing strategies, by providing nothing but information to a consumer... but a lesson for another time.
Every business can benefit from direct response marketing, whether through emails, direct mail, PPC ads, or the other myriad of channels where action is needed on the part of your prospect.
And, the best part of all this is that direct marketing is inherently trackable, so you’re able to understand exactly how much revenue your marketing is driving.
If you would like to see how direct response marketing could help your business increase revenue profitably in as short as 30 days, I’m offering short, information-packed 30-minute strategy calls absolutely free to applicable businesses.
Simply click below to register a spot now.
JC Steadman Marketing
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Creating marketing campaigns for clients around the world for almost a decade. No B.S. and to the point - I'll tell you how it is. I'm a direct-response copywriter at heart, but most would recognise me as a full-stack print and digital marketing expert too. I help create marketing campaigns across any medium - I'm a firm believer in solving a problem using the best tool... not just the newest. Click here if you'd like to work together.