There are many ways to entice consumers to buy your products. We will compare two of the popular strategies in small businesses, direct sales, and direct marketing. We will also discuss direct mail, which is a subcategory of direct marketing. We will compare these two strategies, how they work and how they differ from each other. You will also know what strategy is most convenient for you.
What are Direct Sales?
Direct sales or direct selling involves the direct selling of products or services to consumers without going through the traditional process like retail stores. The products go from the manufacturer to a direct sales company. The direct sales company has sales agents that will seek out consumers to sell your products.
Another way of using direct selling is by using your social network. Invite your friends to buy your products. You can also make them your sales agents. For every product they sell, they earn a commission. You need to be outgoing and engaging in sales talk. In direct selling, customers do not come to you. You need to reach out to potential customers in order to sell your product.
What is Direct Marketing?
Direct marketing or direct response marketing is an advertising campaign designed to elicit actions from a specific group of consumers. Such actions could be an order, a subscription, contacting you for more information, or visiting your website.
Direct marketing is efficient for small business with little budget for image advertising. Direct marketing gives you customer response which can be measured. What we mean by measured is that you know what type of advertisement made the customer response to you. So you can check out what types of advertisements are not giving you a return on your investment.
What is Direct Mail?
Direct mail falls under the direct marketing category. Direct mail is specifically designed to market your products through printed advertisement to a specific contact or contact list. This list usually is either emails and home or business address. Direct mail is designed to personalize an advertisement to have a high response rate.
You may notice an email from businesses you subscribe to in your inbox with all sorts of limited and exclusive offer that is applicable to your consuming trend. That is how direct mail works. You can advertise your products in your own home without having to pay any commercial fees. All you need is some knowledge of creating a good advertisement.
What's the Difference Between Direct Sales and Direct Marketing?
Both works to entice consumers to buy your products. Both also functions to reach out to potential customers. The difference between the two lies in how they operate. Let's simplify how both of them works.
- Personally reaching out to consumers - Direct sales is done by talking to people in real-time. This helps you better gauge what consumers really want and helps you adjust accordingly.
- Social Network Web - Your friends and family can act as a sales agent that will help you spread out information about your products to the people they know. Their friends might also share this with their friends and make your product known in the market. Word of mouth is always a reliable way of advertising.
- Fewer expenses mean greater potential profit - you don't have to go through wholesalers, advertising, retailers and all the long process. This means less cost for your business. Having less cost means you have the flexibility to lower your product prices and be able to compete against known brands.
- One Dimensional - It only involves engaging sales talk with consumers. Which means it will be easy to manage. Analyzing sales data in this method is also easy.
- Use of advertising strategies on a tight budget - Direct marketing uses cost-efficient marketing strategies that help promote and showcase your products to consumers.
- Customer responses are measured - responses of customers can be counted and measured. This means that you can measure the effectiveness of the marketing campaigns you've implemented. You can set a sales goal for a marketing campaign to determine if it's a success or not. You can then make decisions like discontinuing the campaign or prolonging it based on its' performance.
- Catered to a specific group of consumers - Direct marketing is designed to focus on a specific group of consumers. Focusing on a specific group helps make your advertising more appealing by engaging consumers in a personal style of advertising.
- Adapting to consumers' needs - Through customers responses, you can get an idea of what is the current trend among consumers. This will help you gain new customers and keep old customers. You can use loyalty rewards, limited-time offers, and package deals to keep customers always excited about your product.
Which is Better Between the Two?
There is no better strategy. You can even use both of them at the same time. It all depends on how well you're gonna implement your strategy. Both also need specific qualities to become successful. Like in direct sales, you need to be engaging to reach out to consumers. While in direct marketing, you need to be competent in analyzing data to optimize your marketing campaigns.
When starting out your own business, remember that knowledge and information will help you grow your business. It does not require huge amounts of money to invest in improving your business management skills.