Direct Marketing vs. Indirect Marketing

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When it comes to marketing, there is no one-size fits all method. Each company and business has specific goals for growth and to attract their target customers, which means that each business’ marketing plan has to be uniquely tailored to them. There are two ways you can go when trying to decide how to reach your customers and those are direct marketing and indirect marketing.

Both forms of marketing can be successful within your business, but understanding the difference between direct marketing and indirect marketing will help to ensure the best possible results.

The Difference Between Direct Marketing and Indirect Marketing

In its most simple definition, direct marketing is when you are asking potential customers directly to buy from you or to use your services. While indirect marketing revolves more around building awareness around your brand that will lead to more business over time.

However, each form of marketing is a little more complex than that and there are multiple variations of the two so lets break it down even further.

What is Direct Marketing?

Like we mentioned before, using this form of  marketing involves you asking someone directly to buy your business’ product or service. A few examples of this form of marketing include commercials, sales calls, and printed ads.

These practices can be an extremely effective form of marketing but if you don’t carry out these plans properly it can quickly become a waste of time. And in some extreme cases, when you are using direct methods for marketing too much, it can harm your brands image as well.

What is Indirect Marketing

The process of indirect marketing revolves around the idea of building loyal audiences and customers that will buy from you over time.

Unlike direct marketing, indirect marketing relies on the assumption that your audience will not be purchasing your product or service immediately, but rather over time. This means that process of indirect marketing can be weeks or even months long between the impression and a physical sale. A few examples of indirect marketing include referral systems and blogs.

Indirect marketing tactics are viable methods, but they aren’t as intrusive as other marketing methods.

The Advantages of Direct Marketing

This type of marekting campagin has the potential to bring results from the campaign in immediately. When using this method for marketing, the goal is to get your potential customers to buy right now. By putting each of these pieces of content in the right place at the right time you will see results in a short time frame.

Often times these marketing campaigns can be repeated and because of that direct marketing campaigns can even complement your indirect marketing campaigns.

The Disadvantages of Direct Marketing

One of the biggest disadvantages of this form of  marketing is that a majority of your target audience has become desensitized to the “traditional” forms of advertising and sales methods.

If you aren’t strategic with how often and where you are advertising you run the risk of pushing potential customers away rather than enticing them to purchase your product or service. It is because of this that you never want to be too heavy handed when you are using direct marketing methods to advertise.

The Advantages of Indirect Marketing

Indirect marketing will typically take the form of online content and other media, because of this you can put out a lot more content without running the risk of annoying your potential customers.

It is because of this that indirect marketing gives you the perfect opportunity to build relationships with your customer base and compels them to stick with your brand over another. This is also why a blog is a great form of indirect marketing because people will continue to come back as long as you are providing content that is good and relatable.

After a while, this form of marketing will aid in developing a relationship between your customers and your brand, in turn helping you build a more consistent and long term sale stream.

The Disadvantages of Indirect Marketing

With indirect marketing, the results often need time to build momentum before you begin to see results from your campaign. It is during these momentum periods that you will need to put in consistent efforts into order to keep building your campaign up. For example, when posting blogs, you aren’t going to see a profit by publishing once a month. This means that you have to have patience during your indirect marketing campaigns while waiting for results. But once the results start rolling in, they will continue to roll in steadily over time.

Making Marketing Campaigns work

Direct Marketing

One of the most important aspects of marketing directly is selling. This covers whether you are selling one to one or one to many and learning to sell is one of the biggest differences between successful  marketing campaigns and unsuccessful marketing campaigns.

Another thing to keep in mind during these types of marketing campaigns is to do your best to avoid the spam effect. This happens when you put advertisements in too many places, too often, or at the wrong time. Doing this creates the risk of actually pushing potential buyers and customers away.

Examples of Direct Marketing Methods

  • Paid Advertising- There are many types of paid advertising, from pre-roll ads on platforms like YouTube or through Facebook to ads on Google. The idea behind these methods of advertising is that you run the ad campaigns and pay to get the results you are aiming for. This type of advertising is great when you know your ideal customer.
  • Email Marketing- Email marekting is a method that can be extremely spammy if done incorrectly. But if done well will keep you at the forefront of your customers mind.
  • Direct Mail- This method may seem a little outdated but it can still be extremely effective for your business. A lot of companies have done away with this form of marketing so that means when you do use it makes more of a statement to your potential customers.
  • Sales Calls- Sales calls are a classic way of marketing directly and can be one of the most effective ways to get customers to buy your product or service.
  • Traditional Advertising- Traditional advertising includes billboards, television ads, and sometimes newspaper ads.

Indirect Marketing

Like we stated before, indirect marketing focuses less on getting your customers to purchase your product or service right here and right now but rather on building a reputation for your company and brand. This helps to solidify your relationships and encourage your customers to buy from you in the future and continue to buy from you. This method heavily relies on consistency and trust with your audience and providing value within your content.

Examples of Indirect Marketing

  • Content Marketing and SEO- Content marketing and SEO is a powerful tool for any business. This form of marketing allows you to turn your website and your blog into a sales-generating machine that will run on autopilot. For more information on SEO services visit our friends over at Voyager Marketing (they help our company with SEO services!) If you are able to give your audience consistent and valuable information you will begin to see your audience and brand grow.
  • Sponsored Content- Another form of indirect marketing is sponsored content. Many of the indirect marketing methods require you to build trust throughout your audience but sponsored content works because you can work with people who already have an audience that trusts them.
  • Affiliate Programs- Affiliate programs are a little similar to referral programs. The main difference between the two is that your affiliates make commissions from their referrals.
  • Referral Programs- Encouraging referrals through a reward program is a wonderful way to turn a customer into more customers. The customer who refers their friend gets a reward- which entices them to refer more friends- and you get a new customer that will hopefully bring in more new customers.
  • Social Media Pages- Today, practically everyone is on social media platforms and people are constantly checking their feeds for updates and new content. It is because of this that as a business you should absolutely be taking advantage of social media platforms to secure sales.

Now What

At Focused Image, we that these marketing methods work the best when they are used together in a marketing campaign. Both of these methods have positives and negatives associated which is why the strongest marketing campaigns utilize methods from both. To learn more about your marketing options contact us today- we would love to help you build your business!

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