The different channels of direct response marketing have varying degrees of success measured by response levels from the varying campaigns. In order to effectively use these channels, you have to understand how they are intended to work and the audience they are designed to reach. When you think about marketing, you probably consider magazine ads and television commercials. While these are obvious and common forms of marketing, they are do not typically use direct marketing techniques, but instead are simply building brand recognition. The difference between the two is a primary and distinct call to action.
The psychology behind brand marketing is measured degrees different from direct response marketing. Brand marketing’s sole purpose is to get people to recognize the brand related to how the brand is used. For instance, if you want people to use your cold medication, you will flood the market with your brand and curing or treating cold symptoms until the market essentially thinks of your brand when they have a cold. This is effective but very costly because it takes time to build the brand. There is also risk if something happens causing harm (real or perceived) to the public. Many brands have not recovered because of tainted product.
For direct marketing, the psychology is different in how the information is put together. The idea is not necessarily building brand recognition, but rather to call for action from the consumer. If the product were a specific widget designed to cut a tomato perfectly, the advertising would focus on getting the person to order immediately. This marketing style, known as direct response marketing, is very effective when executed the right way with the right audience and product. The costs vary depending on the channel used, but the responses are much higher for immediate sales than in the brand-marketing channel because you are not trying to get the consumer to remember your brand, but rather to grab it while they can.
The channels available are the same between brand and direct response marketing. Television, magazine, radio, other print media and direct mail campaigns flood the market with information on a second by second basis. The call to action can be achieved in any and all of these marketing venues very effectively. Everyone has scrambled to write that number down from the television or radio announcer. Consumers constantly open the direct mailers sent to their homes in hopes of finding that great deal that calls them into action to place that order. This is the essence of direct marketing. Providing both the product the consumer needs and the means to get it is the basic layout of the plan.
Direct response marketing is not just effective in grabbing the consumers’ attention for immediate action; the action is measurable. The beauty of direct marketing is you know immediately what works and what does not. If you have a direct marketing ad on television at noon, by twelve fifteen you will know if it worked. If the calls are flooding in, the call to action was successful, if not, well, the results will be useful for future projects. Most direct marking plans have sustainable and provable data on responses. This is almost impossible for brand marketing. Essentially, direct response marketing takes the guesswork out of the process. Regardless of the channel you would use for your campaign, you can be assured that the results will be measured and scientifically provable. No other marketing campaign can say the same. Brands that market during sports are hoping sales will increase, but infomercials and direct mailing marketing can practically guarantee the results they achieve.