Direct Marketing-A Network Builiding

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The benefits of Direct marketing can be achieved without using DMOS. Marketing service consumers (“buyers”) can interact directly with marketing service providers. However, the problem with this scenario is the number of connections required between buyers and providers which forces the constant “reinvention of the wheel” by both the buyers and providers.

Buyers and providers conducting electronic commerce directly with each other

As shown in the diagram above, each buyer has to establish a separate connection with each marketing service provider. Likewise, each provider has to establish a connection with each buyer. For example, in the case of 1,000 buyers and 100 providers, 100,000 separate connections would have to be established!

These connections are not trivial. Connecting to a web service is not much work. However, establishing a business class connection that is secure and reliable is quite significant.

The alternative to the cobbled together “point to point” approach mentioned above is the use of DMOS to facilitate communications between the buyers and providers.

Electronic commerce with the Direct Marketing Operating System

Buyers need only one connection with DMOS to access all services available through DMOS. Likewise, marketing service providers need only one connection to DMOS to enable all DMOS buyers to utilize their service.

In essence, DMOS makes it easy for buyers and suppliers to conduct business.

But DMOS is much more than a matchmaking service. It provides the infrastructure that makes it possible to conduct secure and reliable business electronically.

Direct Marketing Operating System (DMOS) services

The responsibilities of DMOS include:

  • Directory– provides a registry of services available through DMOS
  • Authentication – validates the identity of parties involved with a transaction protecting against impersonation
  • Authorization – restricts access to services to protect against unauthorized access
  • Confidentiality – ensures that requests and data are delivered confidentially through encryption to protect against eavesdropping
  • Orchestration – coordinates the workflow of many tasks in a business process to avoid omissions and errors
  • Message Delivery – guarantees the delivery of messages and data are delivered to ensure that no critical information is lost in transmission
  • Transformation – transforms requests or data into the format required by the marketing service provider performing the task
  • Monitoring – monitors the availability and performance of services to ensure high availability
  • Integrity – ensures that requests or data is not tampered with in transmission
  • Non-repudiation – provides assurance that an agreement or service request cannot later be denied by the parties involved
  • Auditing – keeps a log of service activity to provide insight and accountability of the service

Tips for Retail Marketing

Nothing is Free

The old saying ‘time equals money’ is true. If you’re looking for ways to promote your business and drive awareness, cheaply, you could be tempted to develop some wild and wacky PR stunts in the hope you’ll generate masses of publicity Richard Branson style. Whilst these types of events can be successful in generating awareness, they typically take a tremendous amount of effort to organise, and the results are often difficult to predict.
Even though ‘materials’ may not cost you much, the ‘time’ component can be astronomically high.

Strategy Before Tactics

Most business owners suffer from ‘marketing idea of the week’, producing random marketing campaigns designed to drive short-term sales. Sometimes they work, but most of the time they don’t, which causes endless frustration and of course even more random ideas.
We always say to our clients “Strategy Before Tactics”. Firstly, stop trying to be all things to all people, narrow your focus and identify who is your Ideal Customer. Secondly establish a way to differentiate your business in a way that matters to your Ideal Customer, and thirdly, define your brand for your Ideal Customer to deliver the core difference.
I liken it to the phrase “Ready, Aim, Fire”. “Ready, Aim” relates to Strategy – Who you’re talking to; What you say; and How you’re going to deliver it. “Fire” relates to tactics – how you implement your strategy – the website, advertisement, mailing, etc. Unfortunately most businesses go “Ready, Fire, Aim”, which means they’re just shooting randomly and unlikely to hit much.

Act Like a Successful Retailer

What do the following retailers have in common?  Woolworths, Myer, Vintage Cellars, Peter Alexander, Country Road, Bravissimo, Baby’s Got Style, MyCatwalk.com, Amazon, Fishpond.com.au.
Would you like a clue? They all have some connection with my home, either because we (my wife and I) have bought from them, or she visits their store regularly.
The correct answer is of course, they’re all direct marketing companies. And by that I mean they actively capture data on their customers and prospects, and communicate with them on a regular basis. And the reason they do this is because it works.

(Notice I didn’t say ‘big’ retailers. I know some business owners have an aversion to getting ‘big’ so I’m not suggesting that but I am suggesting you mirror what the successful retailers do, and in this case that means building a list, and maintaining regular contact.)

Build a Marketing List

Most businesses have some sort of customer list that’s generally held somewhere in a finance or sales system. However you need to build a marketing list that incorporates existing customers, but also prospects, people who have shown an interest in your product but who may not have purchased yet.
So, how do you build a list?
The short answer is you need to provide something of value. People are generally happy to provide their name and contact details as long as there is some perceived value.
You could offer advance notice of new products; access to special offers or promotions; entry into a ‘chance to win’ promotion; or offer a free report that’s relevant to your business. For example, Top 5 Things you should Know Before Buying a Digital Camera; 7 Steps to Buying the Right Surfboard; 3 Steps to Getting the Perfect Fit XYZ.
Make sure when they do ‘sign-up’ that you acknowledge their interest with an immediate ‘thank you’ communication.

(Note: If you are planning on sending emails, your prospects need to opt-in specifically to receiving email. Also, you need to provide an opportunity in every communication for recipients to opt-out of receiving future communications.)

Maintain regular contact

Now that you’ve started building a marketing list, you need to communicate with your customers and prospects.
Frequency of contact is difficult to advise without knowing your business, as it really depends on what is appropriate for your business category. For example, if you’re a retailer of high-frequency consumables then weekly or fortnightly is acceptable, however a retailer who sells digital cameras would probably only communicate monthly.
At the very least, you should be communicating at least every 90 days.
What do you say? Obviously you need to deliver on what they registered for originally – advance notice of new products, access to special offers or promotions. You can also include product reviews, customer reviews, invite them to VIP events where you run ‘how to’ demonstrations or advance showings of new products.

Develop Strategic Partnerships

Identify another business that serves the same target market as your business but doesn’t compete directly with you. They could share the same ideal customer, or maybe you’re in the same geographic area.
If approached correctly it should be a great opportunity for a Win Win, so that both businesses benefit. For example, you’re able to include an offer in their weekly email – they’re able to provide an exclusive offer to their customers, and you have the opportunity to increase sales and awareness with new prospects.
You could potentially introduce a 3rd business to result in a Win Win Win! For example, you could run an event together, where all 3 businesses invite their customers, and you’re able to cross-promote each other.

Tip #7: Identify other businesses that serve the same target market and develop Strategic Partnerships.

(Note on privacy. You can’t email someone else’s list directly – firstly, your partner is unlikely to release their list to you, and secondly, you don’t have the individual’s permission to communicate directly. Any communication needs to come from the partner, promoting your business)

Leverage your Existing Customers

Referral marketing is one of the most powerful marketing techniques available, yet many businesses do not have a defined referral marketing system in place.
First and foremost, you need to be referable. Your customers are not going to promote you if you offer a lousy product or service. Next, you need to target your existing customers – start with your best customers, as they’ll generally refer people who are most like themselves.
Then you need to educate them on your Ideal Customer so they’re not just promoting you to anybody and everybody. And make sure you provide an appropriate offer for both your customer, and the prospect. Lastly, make sure you follow-up your customers and remind them about the promotion on a regular basis. You could incorporate a leader board, or potentially change or refresh the incentive every few months to provide a reason to re-contact your customers about the program.

Summary:

  • Develop a marketing budget upfront, and ensure you incorporate your time
  • Strategy before tactics – be clear on your ideal customer and your point of difference
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel – mirror what the successful retailers do
  • Build a marketing list that incorporates customers and prospects
  • Maintain regular contact
  • Segment your marketing list and deliver relevant content and offers
  • Identify businesses that serve the same target market and develop strategic partnerships
  • Introduce a referral marketing program

Telemarketing Model

 

Sales team plays a major role in the success of any business.

Irrespective of the size of an organization the efforts of sales and marketing team is quintessential if any company wants to fulfill its business goals.

To ensure that the sales team continues to come up with the top-class performance it should be provided with necessary tools and advanced software to achieve the high-level of success and creativity.

In today’s competitive world it is the inside sales that have become more important than the outside sales.

And this inside sale is carried out by the front-line staff that provides the customer care support.

There is a heavy competition in all the fields and hence it is highly important that the inside sales team gets the support of latest software that can strengthen its base so that the team can provide efficient and quality service.

 

To understand how can improve the work efficiency of a sales team let us discuss a case study. It will help you to know how using the right advanced technology can improve the results and prepare an atmosphere conducive to business growth within the company.

Problem

Here we are discussing a case of a extend that extends support to several insurance and banking organizations.these organizations have hundreds of customers who invest to cover their health and life risk and also to keep their earnings secured.

The clients of extend keep on offering new products annually and also introduce new schemes or extensions in the existing insurance term or bonuses to lure new customers or even to entice the existing ones to continue investing with them.

Interestingly, since these companies offer concept-based products, top-class customer service, that supports after-sales service by the agents of the respective companies is highly essential so that the clients continue to get new business and also retain the existing customers.

exend has been using one of the popular in the business and primarily fulfilled the basic requisites of its clients such as telecommuting with the customers, sending them premium reminders, calling them for new policies and bank investment schemes.

Xtend had a good relationship with all its clients since they had a working association of almost a decade.

But lately, it seemed that the clients were favoring other customer care service companies for their new projects which were quite surprising to the Xtend directors.

They could not comprehend as to why the clients were giving the new business to some other call center companies when they were offering the best.

Although, the call center company still retained a major chunk of the business, if such practices continued, soon the clients would divert all the business to some other companies.

That is when the board of directors decided to find out what was making them lose business when they were providing the same level of service they started  10 years ago.

The directors appointed a team of experts to find out the exact reason for the changes in the attitude of the clients.

Firstly the experts discussed the issues with the banking and insurance company heads.

They found out that:

1. Xtend had maintained the same type of service all these years, but now times had changed and their customers were using the latest communication platforms such as live chat, social networking sites, mobile apps and so on for communicating.

2. The other new call center companies were offering all such facilities which increased the customer satisfaction ratio thereby ensuring policy and investment scheme renewals and probabilities of more referrals through them.

3. The  Call center agentsof these companies used special techniques for reaching out to the prospective customers which further increased the sales.

After that, the experts observed the working pattern followed by Xtend and the approach adopted by its front-line staff.

After the observation, the team found out that:

1. The company was seriously in a big trouble as it was using an old software that although was the best when Xtend started but now had become outdated and certainly could not compete with the features that was provided by best call center

2. The staff was not using all the features that the software provided and it was because the employees were not properly aware of how to use them.

It meant one thing that they lacked proper training, especially the new employees.

3. The employees lacked the right approach, smartness, and tactfulness that had become an integral part of all the customer service companies.

When the board of directors studied the combined report from the research team they became aware of the loopholes in their working system and decided to take a quick action.

Solution

The employees were trained at using the new software.

The company also imparted training to the agents related to the new products, alterations in products and features of the clients.

To ensure that the right information is passed down to the staff, the company organized a weekend session where the sales staff of the clients and its agents handling the customer support and insider sales could interact and understand the issues properly.

Result

Once the agents started using the best telemarketing servers, extend started getting a positive response.

The company now could offer availability 24/7 across all the latest communications platforms through live-chats, emails, social media presence, and Smartphone apps.

The agents were now using the latest features offered by the software including call recordings, purchase history and predictive dialers for outbound callings thereby ensuring that only interested customers were contacted and less time was spent.

 

With the increase in the number of satisfied customers, the viewpoint of clients of extend also changed and now they decided to once again start giving all the business to the call center company.