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  • Writer's pictureLive Oak Management

Make it Personal… Or Don’t?

By Sallie Hardy, Media Analytics Executive

Marketing is a complicated concept to grasp because of the many different types and ways to successfully (and unsuccessfully) attempt to sell a product. There’s direct, indirect, digital, product, and so many more. It’s difficult for many companies to decide the best way to build relationships with their users so that they can have high audience engagement. To successfully do this, companies must be able to find the best client-base to sell their product to. 

Many indirect marketing campaigns have been used in the past in order to influence more diverse audiences. This includes Aerie’s choice in using #AerieREAL and showing a range of models, Amazon spelling their name in American Sign Language, and Burger King choosing to feature a blind man in an advertisement. Although these were all great advertising schemes using indirect marketing, I wanted to know the effect of direct marketing in creating a broader and more diverse audience. 

Direct marketing campaigns do not rely on a secondary media source like the campaigns above. Instead, this form of marketing relies on mail, email, and texting to a targeted audience. The amount of pitches sent out to people is endless, but the company has a great opportunity to personalize messages by including the receiver’s name or where they live in the correspondence. The biggest issue many companies face when using direct marketing is that larger audiences are less likely to be engaged. While indirect marketing campaigns have the advantage of engaging lots of people, direct marketing may easily turn into spam, which many people simply ignore. 

Because of issues like spam, direct marketing is primarily used by small or local businesses. This makes it much easier for a company or business to define their target audience and understand the people who will actually be buying their products. Plus, consumers are more likely to open an email from a known business entity. Defining a target audience could lead to less diversity in that audience, however. A business would not advertise most items to everyone because it would be a waste of time and money. So, if companies take the time to define an audience, they greatly narrow their scope especially since they will likely target a stereotypical, known user of their product. They may be limiting their market by not reaching out to atypical consumers, which may include people of different races and backgrounds.

In conclusion, although direct marketing can help find a specific audience and pull them in for one special deal, it might not be the best marketing tactic available. In order to make diversity with a company higher, it has to be reaching as many people as possible in an engaging way, and right now, direct marketing does not accomplish that. 

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