As busy digital marketers, if you’re anything like us at Mojn, we have little time to stay on top of the latest news and trends in the marketing world. We are open to new ideas, but only after they’ve been tried and tested – because nothing makes us more annoyed than wasting our precious time. That’s why we asked Marketing Strategist Khaleelah Jones for her tips and tricks on creating great indirect and direct marketing funnels, so we can take apply experience to our own strategies. Here we’re sharing what we’ve learned.
Q: In a world where almost everyone is trying to impact a buying decision, what’s the difference between direct and indirect marketing?
A: That’s such a great question, and one that people need to ask more often. These days, direct and indirect marketing are often commingled – content marketing is where you can see that at play most. Although people aren’t really trying to sell on their social, blogs, YouTube channels, etc., at the end of the day, they kinda are, whether that’s simply by boosting their SEO rankings or setting themselves and their companies up as thought leaders that motivate people to act. So nowadays I tend to think of these two methods through concrete action and engagement. Indirect marketing tends to spur customer engagement – for instance, getting a follow on your YouTube channel or subscription to your newsletter – whereas direct marketing tends to spur a more concrete action, such as dialling you up on the phone or purchasing a product outright.
Q: That’s an interesting concept, but there are so many kinds of engagement that could be considered actions – what about downloading a white paper? Or clicking on an ad?
A: I tend to separate action from engagement in that action is, as I say, much more concrete and time-consuming. It takes much more time on the part of the consumer so act so it is clear that they are interested. So an ad click isn’t very time consuming, nor is downloading a white paper. But picking up the phone and calling, or attending a webinar, is much more concrete.
Q: So in a digital world where direct v. indirect marketing is hard to distinguish, which is better?
A: I don’t think either is necessarily better or worse – it all depends on your objectives. Indirect marketing tends to take longer – it builds a long-term relationship with the customer and integrates customer feedback (blog comments and Twitter posts are awesome ways to get feedback, after all) but it can be hard to measure if you’re doing it right. Direct marketing is much more easy to measure, and is often directly tied to revenue as it leads up to a sale. However, it can come across as a bit pushy and, if done horribly wrong, as spam. It is also quite fleeting as it doesn’t build a relationship or demonstrate long-term value. But, it leads to a sale, which is obviously great. So both are good, in their own ways.
What other questions do you have about these marketing channels in a digital environment? Let us know your views on direct v indirect marketing…