I’m sure just about everybody has received what he or she considers to be junk mail. Most of the time it goes straight into the bin as even the biggest consumer can at times get fed up with the world of sales, where even your organs are game. On the odd occasion just as I am about to ditch the junk mail something catches my eye: a discount for a holiday, free DVD, or coupon for a facial. But in a world where nothing comes free it’s hard to trust and besides in the three minutes it will take to fill out the claim form I could be flicking through the TV channel instead…
Now if I only I received direct marketing for things that actually interested me, were somehow useful or informative, then I would be much less inclined to chuck the lot away. I mean who can be bothered to sift the chiff from the chaff when Eastenders is about to begin?
On the other hand if the phone call I received, or leaflet in the post, or coupon from the supermarket was something that was purposeful, then I am sure I would give it commercial time at least and so I got to thinking…
It’s all about the target.
Maybe it was time for me to hit a home run in my own business by hitting the target. The world of ceramics isn’t going to excite the average man. Somebody living in a wooden hut, a carpeted home or in a cold country isn’t likely to be my biggest customer but what about the man with a house in Spain, Bail, Greece or Turkey? Here the demand is huge. Having nailed the countries what next? There is no point in sending out leaflets to seventeen year olds, who are mostly interested in cars, clubs and the opposite sex; or seventy year olds, who quite frankly like their current flooring. With so many variables to consider it became very clear to me that you have to find your pool of punters and they might not be in your local. So how do you go about this?
Consumer lifestyle surveys are the way forward as their sole functions are to provide consumer data to the direct marketing industry. Companies that carry out consumer lifestyle surveys have the resources to find out who you should target and who your potential customers are for the long haul. It’s well known that quality and not quantity is what sticks. The first sale is easy but to get the people to come back again and again, quality is what matters. In that case it makes far better sense to send out smaller amounts of marketing material to the right people.
Consumer lifestyle surveys allow for more efficiency and accuracy. Naturally this is much more cost effective. As well as that when you know your pool of consumers well, you know exactly what to offer to get them interested. Then it’s down to mechanics of creativity to pull them in. Personally I like to dabble in the creativity department myself but for those that want to outsource there are plenty of direct marketing companies that will do the job for you.
One of my favourite campaigns is a wonderful example of how Consumer Lifestyle Surveys benefited an alcoholic beverage company for a whiskey brand XXX.
Christmas was approaching and the companies marketing department had the challenge of coming up with an innovative campaign to increase sales. They wisely got in contact with a consumer lifestyle surveys company to find their pool through categories ranging from geography, personal information, shopping habits, interests, travel and leisure, gender and so forth.
As well as looking at competitors database and their current database of customers they came up with their hit list of potential customers – more than half the work was done. Now how to hook them in? Through their research it became clear that the majority of whiskey drinkers were men over 40. Knowing their target group and then using a cultural consumer Christmas tradition, they came up with an exciting campaign to send socks to the potential consumers with a note saying, ‘If you don’t ask for XXX Whiskey at Christmas, you’ll get the same old boring socks.’
As a result 40 percent of the consumers sent back the questionnaire accompanying the sock. An astounding amount! So not only did the brand advertise their product that resulted in the increase of sales but they also got their hit list of potential customers for direct marketing purposes.
Quite a genius approach! It is clear to me as a consumer and a small business owner that consumer lifestyle surveys are the way forward. If all companies used them then the average man would no longer consider direct marketing as junk mail and something untrustworthy, but more like an introduction to a good deal, something that they might actually want to invest in or buy…here everyone gets a piece of the pie.