Direct response marketing is a marketing methodology that attempts to elicit a specific response right now.
It is my favorite kind of marketing…
But for some, it’s also the most annoying.
Infomercials and shopping channels
Long-scrolling sales pages with order button after order button
Snail mail sales letters
There are different schools of thought when it comes to advertising and marketing.
Direct response is one. Another is “branding.”
Let’s look at the differences between the two.
Direct Response Marketing vs. Branding
Two key tenets of direct response are measurement and response.
That is, you attempt to elicit an immediate response – such as a sale or an email opt-in – then measure the success of your campaign.
I prefer this style of marketing so much that I even coined my own saying:
If it can’t be measured, it’s not marketing.
Ads that you see on TV — with beautiful women drinking beer or happy families driving cars through forests — aren’t direct response ads.
They don’t attempt to elicit responses and they can’t be measured.
As a result, it’s impossible to measure ROI.
Branding is about building relationships. While it’s fine for large corporations with money to burn, it’s not helpful for businesses that want to calculate returns on their marketing spend.
Direct Response Feeds the Internet
Data-driven tech makes it easier than ever to measure marketing efforts.
Every aspect of a campaign can be tracked, from clicks to browser behavior. In the future, we’ll see even more extreme analytics – Google, for instance, has patented technology that tracks eyeball movement. Presumably, this technology will be integrated with AR and VR headsets.
Today, however, direct response techniques have become widespread. Split-testing is easier than ever, and virtually every business engages in some form of direct response marketing.
The Golden Age of Marketing?
“Branding” will never die, even as technology offers deeper insight into customer behavior.
In my opinion, no matter how deep the data goes, there will always be a black box – there will always be aspects of marketing that can’t be measured.
However, for businesses that want to measure responses to their marketing, digital technology offers unprecedented speed, data, and insight into our marketing.
If you like direct response marketing, then we certainly are living in the Golden Age.
To learn more about digital marketing, copywriting, and direct response, subscribe to my daily email newsletter — subscribers get discounts, deals, and insider tips that you won’t find anywhere else.