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What Brand Marketers Could Learn From Direct Marketers (And Vice Versa)

Recently, Ron Amram, Vice President of Media for Heineken USA, wrote a revealing piece on Why Brand Marketers Should Think Like Direct Marketers. He emphasized the need for brand marketers to “get comfortable analyzing data; it’s the industry standard.” He also had a message for brand marketers: “don’t be afraid to use data to guide your creative direction.”

But there are other ways that brand marketers should emulate direct marketers.

  1. More emphasis on the Ask.
    Make sure every single piece of advertising or brand awareness that goes out to the public asks the prospect to take a very specific action. All messaging should urge a response rather than just awareness.
  2. Increased emphasis on strong copywriting.
    Traditionally, branding is primarily a visual medium, while direct response is more copy driven. While a compelling image or interesting graphic may get the prospects attention, it’s targeted copy and actionable words and phrases that motivate them to act.
  3. Test. Test. Test. Direct marketers live for results.
    Good and bad, believe it or not. The good becomes a champion and creates a standard. The bad is scrutinized but certainly not abandoned. Was it the message? How about format? Did it miss the mark because of a mediocre offer? These items and more are isolated and tested. Brand marketers can test, too. From the tone of pieces to the look and feel, certain items will resonate better with your target audience. Balancing what the audience responds to without jeopardizing the brand is the goal. And testing is an important tool to get there.

At the same time, direct marketers could benefit from thinking more like a brand marketer, as well.

  1. Shorter copy, stronger use of graphics to tell the story.
    As mentioned above, compelling copywriting is a hallmark of direct response. But too much of a good thing can lose even the most ardent readers. Even as far back 1997, studies showed that 79% of people scanned websites rather than read them word for word.1 That trend has no doubt escalated in all forms of media. Concise, informative copy can do today what long form copy did in the past. Tell a story and get a response. Graphics can aid in the story telling. Let the reader connect the dots with impactful copy and meaningful graphics leading to a strong call to action within a short amount of time.
  2. Remember who you are. Does a great concept and clever format emulate the brand? It should.
    A strong brand will guide the tone and feel of a campaign. It’s the foundation of most creative briefs, sharing the spotlight with the objective. That’s why most plug-and-play advertising pieces, or turn-key approaches that simply change a company name, while perhaps cost-effective, can fall short. There’s no soul in the piece. No ownership. No brand.

As Ron Amram summarized, whether it’s direct marketing or brand marketing both can — and should — learn from each other and adopt best practices and successful strategies from one another.

Source Credit-#1 How Users Read on the Web by JAKOB NIELSEN

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