Benefits of Direct Marketing

What is Direct Marketing? Well, I have to admit that I struggled to understand how to implement direct marketing when Millie first explained it to me.  It’s Matthew blogging here today, by the way, to talk to you about Direct Marketing and how we are getting on with our planned direct marketing efforts for our business. Poor Millie has a bad cough that turned into a chest infection so she is nicely tucked up in bed and taking it easy for a couple days.

Our first print run of our initial brochure are all gone which is a good complaint I guess considering it is seven months since we launched.  We have decided to revisit its design and revisit the ‘direct marketing’ part of our business plan. Millie researched it at the time and explained it to me.  Do you know you can read all about it in our ‘Marketing Communications’ chapter in the Cheese Mall book?

We knew that  our brochure had to address the needs of the various segments in our target markets, from young teenagers to elderly shoppers, from parents to professionals.  We also worked out that we had to emphasise the benefits rather than the features.

Benefits & Features

As Millie explained to me at the time, features only account for 20% of the business decision so we had to ensure that the benefits, that would account for 80% of our market’s buying decisions, would be very much to the fore of whatever brochures or flyers we produced.

For example, one of the features of our Cheese Mall store is that of our variety of tills – from cashier tills to self service tills to a more personal service behind an old shop counter. The advantage of this is that the various segments can choose how they want to be served. They can pick up the pre-wrapped cheese and go to a self-service till and scan the products themselves or they can choose to pay at a manned till. Alternatively, they can go to the main bench where there are a number of staff waiting to advise on their selection of cheese, to cut whatever size they would like, to recommend wines to serve with the cheese and really offer a personal service.  This personal service is appreciated by many different groups – the older mice looking for some good old-fashioned service, professionals wanting to buy something special for the weekend or as a gift, parents wanting to treat themselves once a week or a month and even children who are trying to decide on a gift for their parents.

We really wanted to focus on this particular benefit (amongst so many others too) within our brochure. The question then was ‘How?’ and the question now is ‘Do we alter it?’

We included pictures of the traditional teak bench with 3 customers standing in front of it – a grandmother, a professional male in a smart suit and a ten year old child and we ensure that their body language didn’t suggest they were shopping together. We also included pictures of our other tills with different segments shopping there too – all with smiles on their faces of course.

At the time, we were told that using words such as ‘Easy, Save, Love, Free, You, Your, New, Results, Proven, Guarantee’ really bestowed emotion and of course, emotion sells. We included the words ‘You, Your, Save and New’ in our existing brochure.

It is difficult to decide if we focus on this benefit again, I think we should as we do welcome a variety of segments of society into our shop. Everyone knows they will receive good customer service, suited to their needs.   Senator Feargal Quinn recounted a story about wonderful customer service he experienced on a visit to America some time ago, and that is what we want to emulate and that is what we want to communicate in our brochure. That the customer comes first.

Phrases like ‘Easy Shopping’ or ‘Shopping is Easy at The Cheese Mall’ are coming to mind but I think I will wait until Millie is better before I put the final touches to it. Do you have any other ideas? Do you try to emphasise the benefits rather than the features? Has it worked well for you?

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