In order to be successful in a very competitive marketplace you need to have a strategy for every major part of your marketing plan. In direct marketing there are about five aspects requiring strategic planning, and we’ll give you a brief overview here.

You’ll find more specific information about each of the five topics by clicking on one of the article links towards the bottom of this page.

1) Your product or service
Make sure that you’re taking the marketing approach instead of the selling approach. Marketing is when you listen to the wants and needs of the marketplace and develop your product or service to meet them. The selling approach is when you come up with something that you think is a great idea (without input from the marketplace) and then try to sell it in – or force it upon – the marketplace. Always take the marketing approach.

2) Your offer
Your offer is made up of several different elements, but it all boils down to what you’re going to give your customers in return for their money. A short list of offer elements includes the price, discounts, return policy, warranty, guaranty, premium and a free trial.

3) The media you use
Direct marketers use just about all media types available including radio, television, telemarketing, newspapers and magazines; however, on this web site the focus is direct mail.

4) Your distribution channel
Some of the major distribution channels include selling direct (via mail order, Internet and/or telephone sales), selling through an agent (who typically sells direct on behalf of the producer), using a distributor (also called wholesaler – who sells to retailers) and selling through a retailer (also called dealer or reseller – who sells to end customers).

5) Your creative approach
This is a plan you create to help you develop an effective message to your target market that will be expressed in a way to best sell your product or service. Typically, your creative plan will be a guide used by copywriters and art directors to help them stay on point with your overall marketing strategy.