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Direct Response Marketing

Editor’s Note: Local Is Global; Global Is Local

1 Jul, 2011 By: Thomas Haire Response

Thomas Haire, Editor-in-ChiefIn this age of immediate global communication, it’s easy to forget that most consumerism remains — essentially — local. Sure, you can now do things like using Amazon’s Price Check app to see if there is a better deal on almost any product in any retail store somewhere online (and then order it online immediately), but most shoppers are still unlikely to be swayed from that immediate gratification unless the price difference is startling.

It’s interesting then that this month, Response offers a pair of feature stories focusing on national businesses that maintain a very localized focus — each for different marketing reasons: Lincoln Educational Services (page 20) and eLocal Listing (page 38). While both companies feature expansive business models, they both rely on consumers looking for answers to important services in their local areas — Lincoln’s 46 schools in 17 states mostly serve students who are local to their campuses, while eLocal Listing is all about helping consumers find local businesses that offer needed services, no matter the metropolitan area.

The localized focuses of these businesses and their marketing efforts, however, are not that rare in the world of DR. Even the most popular DR products — ones that go big across the nation — owe their successes to the metrics and analysis only direct response marketing provides to allow marketers to continually hit their hottest local markets with the right messages to continue to drive sales.

In essence — and especially after looking at the more globalized viewpoints behind our other two feature stories this month — as our world grows, it also shrinks. More opportunity to market to a wider audience truly means that your marketing metrics must be capable of drilling down to the most specific demographic and psychographic information for your product to truly hit the mark.

Look at it this way: the most-talked about marketing tool in the first half of 2011 was clearly the smartphone. Now, if you know exactly what works in marketing to smartphone users today, you are way ahead of the game. Truth is, while there is great excitement around mobile marketing, there is clearly a lot to be learned by both marketers and consumers about the possible power of these devices. One thing is certain, however: once marketers start making real dollars from consumer sales on smartphones, the biggest key is likely to be the pinpoint localization that these devices offer marketers about consumers’ habits and locations (that is, if federal regulators allow marketers the ability to do so in the future — a big question in and of itself).

In a world that’s moving toward globalization and localization at seemingly rapid and equal speeds, the best tool for marketers — no matter the media: TV, radio, online, print, mobile — remains direct response. Only DR offers the analytics and rapid-response capabilities needed for marketers to shift on the fly.

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