DIRECT MARKETING AND BRAND PERSONA
The Importance of Brand Advertising Emerging in Interactive Online Environments
In a world of frustrating automated phone systems that clients spend time navigating through to talk to a customer service representative it is becoming easier to reach out to a business via social media. Being there to answer when they do is now a business essential.
Nielsen Online recently posted an article in which they asserted:
For marketers, 2013 marks a shift in online advertising—to bigger budgets, sounder metrics and a continuing focus on brand advertising that we identified last year. According to the 2013 Online Advertising Performance Outlook, a report produced jointly by Vizu, a Nielsen company, and the CMO Council, advertisers are changing how they view the online medium. Long the bastion for direct response, marketers are now embracing online for branding purposes aimed at shifting consumer perception.
In 2013, advertisers project brand ad spending to grow more quickly than direct response. Sixty-three percent of marketers project that the dollars allocated to online brand advertising will grow in 2013, and one in five believes the increase will exceed 20 percent. These numbers are in line with what Vizu saw in marketers’ 2012 projections, demonstrating continued momentum.
Does this mark the end of direct marketing? Definitely not.
That same study showed that while 63 percent of businesses polled plan on expanding their brand campaign budgets, 51 percent also plan on expanding their direct marketing budgets. Online activity is becoming more complex. The ever evolving moving parts in the inbound marketing world continue to become more and more integrated. Online behaviors evolve and change annually as direct sales programs and social media platforms individual popularity wane and surge. What is true this year will not be true next year. Online shoppers are always looking for the next great thing.
It’s clear, however, that companies who have a long term strategy of active engagement with customers via social media are emerging as winners. While direct marketing will remain a moving part in the next few years, it is quickly becoming more and more reliant on how well a customer can engage a company online.
If a link to a Facebook page or yelp is not present in an email campaign there’s a chance your customer may consider your missive spam.
How well you verify your trustworthiness can make or break an email campaign. This is nothing to be afraid of. While email campaigns were once considered unreliable, the ability to prove your “trust factor” has brought new life to an old standard.
Clients ARE going to Google you
Having multiple presences within the search engine environment can increase direct marketing campaign sales exponentially.
An article we recently posted stated that According to a new study by UMass Dartmouth, Fortune 500 companies are bullish for Social media.
Within the top 500 companies of America, the ones that are emerging in the top 100 or 200 are the ones with active social media campaigns.
The move to define your brand in an interactive environment seems a bit spooky to old school marketers. It shouldn’t.
Some believe it’s risky to open your web resources to customer comments. That concept isn’t proving to be true. Customers are becoming more online savvy. They understand that not all your customers are going to be happy. What they want to see is HOW you resolve these issues.
Remember, if you are hiding from comments or not answering questions, online users are most likely to assume you are either inept, out of touch, understaffed, underfunded, or simply have something to hide.
None of these options bodes well for closing a sale or contract for services.
How well your brand is received has much to do with how interactive your social media presence is.
Prospective clients can quickly get a sense of how you conduct business and what others think of your services. Of course if all you have on your yelp page are complaints, then you need to take stock in your management techniques. Hire a reputation management specialist after you make adjustments.
Remember though… even the most successful companies have one or two disgruntled customers. Shoppers will reward someone MORE for having an interactive customer experience and penalize them LESS for having complaints IF they feel they will get quick responses to concerns they may have after the sale.
Unleash the power of a direct marketing campaign with an interactive brand campaign.
It takes dedication and commitment but has a rewarding ROI. Being alert to customers questions and answering them timely is essential.
Here are some things you can do that we previously published in an article “Social Media Interactions – Talk to Your Followers and Fans“
- Answer questions in a timely fashion. One or two hours is best.
- Be consistent. Your fans and followers who feel left out will unlike you and likely never consider your service or product again.
- Allow for spirited debate.
- DON’T allow abusive users to demean your brand. We are talking about behaviors, not complaints. Remember, answering a complaint is an opportunity to make many sales, not just comfort one disgruntled follower. Bad language or threatening behavior however cannot be tolerated. People will be comforted when you intervene.
- Have a sense of humor. People will return if you are fun to read.
- Encourage your followers to talk among themselves. Nothing garners trust more than a satisfied customer telling a prospect why they like you.
Key closing concepts:
- People are interested in your brand persona. Don’t disappoint them. Define yourself or someone else will.
- Answer as many questions they may have before they ask them. Use your various online presences.
- Answer their questions, when asked publicly, as effectively and timely as possible. Your behavior is being watched not your policies.
- Who they think you are and how they view your business ethic will assist closing direct sales.
26 Elm Street, Suite 4
Quincy, MA 02169