If brand marketing is the heart of your advertising, direct marketing is the head. While ‘brand’ marketing focuses on eliciting emotions, and creating brand affinity with prospects and customers, ‘direct’ marketing focuses on the practicality and pragmatism of your product or service.  After you’ve delivered a brief and executed a ‘brand’ campaign, you will have a set of customers or prospects that know what you stand for, know how they feel about you, and know why they should buy from you.  The next step is to have them actually purchase.

These are 5 things your direct marketing should always include.

1.  Customer Insight

Why does your audience care? As with any piece of marketing, customer insight is vital and necessary to inform your creative campaign.  By understanding who you’re targeting, you’ll understand how and where to target them.  You should be able to answer these questions:

  • What is the objective and aim of the direct marketing comms?
  • What are you trying to achieve in your communications?
  • What are you going to be speaking about, and what will you be promoting?
  • Are you speaking to new customers and converting brand awareness into a sale.
  • Are you speaking to existing customers for a repeat purchase or an upgrade?


2.  Attention Grabbing

Whether you use flyers, posters, direct mail, or local press, your marketing must grab attention and maintain it enough so that the audience reads further.  Big, bold headlines that relate to an engaging image or colour on your creative will give your marketing ‘stand out’ in a cluttered and busy environment.

If your piece of direct marketing is part of a wider and larger brand campaign, being able to include elements of that campaign will lend your piece brand affinity and allow you to piggy back off the budgets already spent.

Are there seasonal events that your marketing can relate to?  Christmas, Halloween, or April Fools Day?  If you can tie your campaign with a seasonal events, you can leverage audience awareness and become more relevant by linking to a cultural event.


3.  Features & Benefits

I’ve seen too much marketing focus on features, rather than benefits – meaning you haven’t answered your customers main question: ‘Why do I care?’  Features allow you to talk about new news, an award you may have won, or a development of technology, but unless you talk about how that benefits your audience, and tell them why they should care, they’ll be less likely to purchase.

Can you justify your benefits with real accolades or testimonials?  These could be from existing customers, or celebrities that may have come across your product.

Ensuring you display the way a feature of your product or service benefits your audience’s life will give your campaign a higher response rate.


4.  Call to Action

Map the customer journey out, make sure your audience know they can visit a store, call a phone number, or go online.  Give your audience a number of choices on where to go next that makes it easy for them, and ensure that you are giving enough space on your advertising for the call to action to stand out.

You don’t want your audience to see an advertisement, have it resonate with them, compel them to purchase or find out more, but then have no set direction for them to take.


5.  Urgency

Creating a sense of urgency will increase your response rate and maximise your marketing.  You can create urgency in your headline, in the body copy of your advertisement, or in your call to action.

You can utilise and promote offers to increase your conversion rates as well as to increase response rates.  By putting a ‘use by’ date, or ‘limited time only’ tagline with your offer, you will create urgency and give you as big a chance as possible to have your audience respond to your advertising.


If you need some help with creating or delivering a direct marketing campaign, we’d love to talk and help!