Social Intelligence Information about the use of social media in PR


Digital Direct Marketing

Direct marketing encompasses all forms of marketing communicated straight to the consumer, via a range of advertising and communication techniques. This can include: mobile messaging, online adverts, email and now, even social media.

Direct marketing may be the bugbear of many; no one likes spam, but now-a-ways, there are lots of effective filtering programs to block it out and there are now regulations in place that make it much harder. Direct marketing is regulated by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations. Regulations state it is illegal to send un-solicited emails unless in specific circumstances. Therefore, consumers need to first be interested in a product or service, to be able to contact them.

For businesses however, it can be a powerful way of promoting services or products, as messages can be tailored for specific target audiences. If the sender knows the organisations or individuals on the mailing list are interested in what is on offer, the more successful this medium can be. Social media and direct marketing both focuses on individual networks of people based around a specific passion or interest, for business or pleasure, and can work fantastically well together.

For direct marketing to be successful, it is imperative marketers remember:

Be Relevant: Target the right people, people who are already interested, are already customers or could be. If people already have an interest they are more likely to opt-in. Email can be an effective and economic way of engaging with consumers, if you can get them to request information through this medium. Many e-commerce sites require customers to register before purchasing.

Give Incentives: If you give consumers an incentive to opt-in, they will. Understand what interests them and use that as inspiration. Special discounts, pre-release previews of products, will entice your audience, but you must give them the option to opt-out. This is a legal requirement and if you don’t, you will be breaking the law.

Don’t bombard people: You will only annoy them and make them opt-out. Use user analytics tools to understand what times of the day are best to attract the attention of your target market and communicate with them when they are most likely to be receptive. Put all the information into one document and send it periodically. Once a month, allows enough time for the information to be appreciated properly.

There are many ways you can engage your consumers and prospect, these are only the beginning, but they are certainly a good place to start.