Chapter 10 gives the reader a view if direct marketing is really effective on selling products to consumer at large. Most of selling companies consider direct marketing as a “personalized” marketing; however, there is more to the tedious door-to-door selling. Factors are attributed to how the consumers buy-in to the concept that goes to the product, may it be the message it conveys or the packaging itself. Before going to the assessment of current direct marketing strategies and research designs that can be used to target the right customers, the current problems of direct marketing were enlisted.
One of the problems experienced was the decline in the response rates among the consumers. This situation may lead to the next problem which is saturation to direct marketing mails. Since many companies are into direct selling, there may also be a thin delineation among these companies. This leads to the problem of having not enough innovation in the part of the marketers. With these problems at hand, the author routed us to the idea if the list that marketers have at hand is really the list that would patronize their products.
In marketing, it is important to understand the market so you would know if your product will fit. It is easy to secure a list, but the book tells us that there is more to having that list. When marketing a certain product, it is important to understand the behavior and attitudes of the consumers. The material recommends that it pays the company who builds their own list and understands the needs of those consumers on that list. In this way, from a bigger perspective of the population, the company can identify the segment of the population that is expected to buy.
However, the concept of direct marketing is not only confined to the relationship of the company to its consumers. Direct marketing can also happen to business-to-business. One computer company can sell its services to another company who would need its products. But just like how one company should understand its consumers, when dealing with companies as well, it would need to know what it values, what it finds important or what risks it will take. Towards the end of the chapter, it discusses methods on how one company can find effective direct marketing strategies.
The process of finding the appropriate strategy is continually evolving. It is not serving the same content yet in different packaging. Changing strategy mix from time to time will help the marketer fine tune his design to effectively sell the products. It also pays in direct marketing to make itself visible, not only once to the customer. Once a direct mail is sent to the consumer twice, it will yield a higher possibility of response from the side of the consumer. Direct marketing in an essence is an experiment that molds itself to perfection.
One cannot really have a perfect model to follow, but one thing sure about making it effective is to always acknowledge the side of your product’s market. Indeed, it is a powerful tool once a company can get it right, but also a way of wasting resource if done otherwise. The next chapter leads the readers to a more specific perspective of marketing – building the concept for the product that will be sold to the customers. Within a product, marketers can actually think of numerous possibility or mixes on how to market it effectively.
Some companies would go on for discounts, freebies and favors. However, not all these would actually work. It shows that it will be all competition driven, thus, sacrificing the actual sales that the product would have. Most of companies employ the idea of the traditional concept testing. In doing this design, it is recommended that companies should have larger sample sizes and should disclose the full description of the product. This is to ensure that they will have at least the credible response of the consumers about their selling proposition.
However, this strategy is engulfed with problems. It fails to acknowledge that consumers may not really mean what they are saying. The customer’s promise of saying that he will buy the product may not necessarily mean that they will do the thing of buying it. Models may say that consumers will most likely buy it if there is a high self reported probability of purchase. Then again, this is still a gamble. As mentioned on the previous chapter, there is more to understanding the target market. Affective and cognitive components affect the consumer’s decision to buy the product.
Affective would mean their intangible impressions or their feelings, and the latter focuses on their intellectual impressions on how the product could be of help to them. These two components have to be reconciled in order to have a clearer picture on the consumer’s willingness to buy the product. However, as mentioned, there are still numerous options under one concept. The two components cannot give the marketers a concrete answer on what to really market on the larger scale of consumers. A methodology is herein presented to address this challenge.
As proposed by Paul Green of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the multiple trade-off analysis can address the problem on how to consolidate the factors and all other small concept under the big product design. One can also evaluate each factor independently; however the multiple trade-off analysis can also show the interaction effects between factors. Not all factors is a stand-alone, the researcher must acknowledge that one factor can actually rely on another. The end each analysis is always to come up with the best marketing decision.
The chapter warns marketers that the most appealing concept may be the most expensive one. As the company proceeds with its operations, not taking into consideration the financial part can be detrimental. Thus, deciding on the best concept will speak about optimality – not only considering the dimension but always keeping in mind profitability. Evaluation thousands of options is always worth doing and balancing it with the returns would lead to a marketing success. Possible Questions to the CEO During the Interview 1.
What strategy does your company employing when you market directly your products? 2. What were the success and failures of this strategy? 3. How did you understand your market base in order to cope up with the failures of the existing strategy? 4. What method did you use to know what effective marketing concept that would let your consumers avail of your product or service? 5. Do you think you method has been successful in capturing your target market? Why? BIBLIOGRAPHY Clancy, Peter C. Krieg Kevin J.. Counter-Intuitive Marketing. New York City: Free Press, 2000.
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