Ask Silver Bullet: May 2017
My company advertises regularly and uses Direct Mail extensively but after some initial early success we’re now seeing very little returns?
There may be no single sector where the old adage of ‘what worked yesterday won’t necessarily work today’ is more true than in marketing and, indeed, you could probably add, ‘and definitely won’t work tomorrow.’
Those organisations that continue to rely on past marketing strategies in a rapidly changing landscape may well survive but they will not prosper and will inevitably be overtaken by competitors who innovate, not only in their products or services, but also in the way these are delivered and, crucially relevant to this question, in the way they are marketed.
It was Harold Wilson who went one step further in this when he noted, “He who rejects change is the architect of decay.” For your company to continue to base their marketing on a strategy or media mix that is no longer working is commercial suicide that will inevitably catch up with yourselves with dire consequences.
So without any knowledge of where you have been advertising and what message your Direct Mail is carrying and how you are delivering it to whom, I’d recommend pulling the plug on everything and taking a hard look at your whole marketing strategy.
I don’t believe marketing is actually rocket science or in confusing our clients with advertising and technical jargon. To my mind, it’s actually fairly straightforward - identify your customers, develop your offer to them and identify the means of delivery that gives you the best returns.
It’s sometimes difficult to do this internally through vested interests, internal politics or sheer commercial pressure so why not bring in external assistance? An external marketing agency can audit your marketing material, analyse your brand, marketing strategy and results and deliver an independent expert opinion coupled with costed options to remedy the situation. Of course, whether you follow their advice is entirely up to yourself, as with any external consultancy, but a brief look through the sales or order book usually focuses everyone’s attention…
As to why your current marketing mix isn’t working, is harder to answer without knowing more details, but I could hazard a guess that your choice of advertising media may be traditional printed media such as newspapers or even directories whose circulation and reach have declined over recent years in relation to the growth of the Internet and the mighty Google. Consider the once almost-omnipotent position of the Yellow Pages Directories and their subsequent demise and you’ll see the need to change your media mix in light of current trends.
I’m personally a great believer in Direct Mail for some sectors, but if it’s no longer working, maybe your offer is no longer relevant to your target market, maybe the response mechanism isn’t working or maybe the design and means of delivery is no longer successful. Whatever the reason, now is the time to consider using other marketing tools including investment in better design, PR and maybe outdoor media advertising in addition to your all-important digital offer. Your website and your social media may be the most important ingredients to your marketing mix and if these are not functioning, you need to address them before spending resources on external media.
Do you need some assistance with your marketing? Do you need to review your strategy or do you have another marketing question we can help with? Talk to us. Email your questions anonymously to us today firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet us (not so anonymously) @SilverBulletPR.