3 Direct Response Marketing Trends with the most Business-Building Potential for 2019

The turning over of a new year is the perfect time to refresh your direct response marketing strategies. You can look back at 2018 and see what worked or what you want to try again with a fresh approach. Or, you can think out-of-the-box and commit to experimenting with something different—a new tactic or technique.

We hope this list of what we think will be the most business-building direct response marketing trends will help you get your 2019 planning off to a great start.

1. Using Programmatic Advertising To Reach Highly Targeted Audiences
Defining programmatic marketing as automated bidding on advertising inventory in real time, for the opportunity to show an ad to a specific customer, in a specific context, Smart Insights reports Forrester’s prediction that it will make up the majority of all digital advertising over the next few years.

That’s because programmatic advertising relies on ever-more dependable (and real-time!) customer data to get your offers in front of exactly the right people whenever they’re surfing on the internet. And you know the more targeted and relevant your ads are, the better they perform.

But it’s not just about its tremendous customer targeting. This form of advertising is also easier and more flexible. It’s both automatic and budget-friendly, making it less risky, perhaps than traditional forms of advertising that aren’t “tweakable” as campaigns progress.

If you’ve been promoting your content and offers organically—that is, not using paid advertising methods—this year you might want to experiment with programmatic marketing. Even a small investment might lead to satisfying results. Often you arrange to pay on a per engagement or click so you are only charged for responses.

2. Spreading Multimedia Offers Across Your Customers’ Journey
And, we add, nurture leads every step of the way. Everyone is talking about the customer journey today. It’s a more full-bodied version of the classic sales funnel because it takes the customers’ more comprehensive, often complex, end-to-end decision process into account. It provides more touch-points for marketers to make relevant, action-oriented connections that lead to conversions and sales.

When you study your customer’s journey from brand non-awareness all the way through advocacy, you get a feel for what’s most important to them and how they behave as they make purchase decisions. Their behaviors and preferences usually change as they progress—so what may interest them at the purchase stage of their journey may not resonate during their awareness or even interest/consideration stage, and vice versa. All the more reason to come up with targeted offers that address their specific concerns as they move along.

You’re going to want to leverage multimedia for content offers, too, so your customers can engage the way they want to engage. Think carefully about your audience: are they more likely to download a PDF file, flip through an interactive digital ebook, or watch a video? And do their preferences change as they travel through the sales funnel? (What a great opportunity for some testing!) In any case, try mixing up your content formats to appeal to your audience at different points in their journey.

Learn more in How To Travel Through Your Buyer’s Journey.

3. Driving Cross-Sells and Upsells
Often people think the main purpose of direct response marketing is to serve up new, top-of-the-funnel sales leads—and yes, lead generation is critical and often a top imperative. But the business we generate through direct response marketing doesn’t have to be limited to new business, especially as our customer base grows.

Increasing sales with existing customers can be highly profitable. Direct response marketing, especially over digital challenges, makes this goal easier to attain. Why? Because of all the customer data we have at our fingertips. We can personalize offers based on buying patterns, communications preferences, geographic and demographic information, and more. If we’re collecting and tracking this data, we can incorporate the insights into our customized offers to entice customers to “buy more,” “try this,” etc.

If you’ve focused your efforts on driving fresh leads—keep up the great work. But consider ways you can connect with existing customers to boost your business in 2019 and beyond. Get more insights in The Art and Science of the Direct Response Marketing Cross-Sell.

Contact us for more business-building ideas.