A car just zoomed past on the wide screen before you even blinked. Next time, you made sure you saw watched the advertisement right from the beginning, and you actually did! Yet, there was barely much to clap your eyes on. It however became impossible for you to wipe the inanimate beauty off your mind, and there began your wait for more. Did it stir you? Well, “marketing” just happened!
A tiny, tile-sized box surfaced at one corner of the computer screen while you were unwinding at the end of a tiring day. A quick glance, and you saw some not-so-known language learning institute weakly trying to pique your interest on some of their courses. It got you more tired. You clicked the close button with all your energy and disgust. A few days later, someone asked you about any good website or institution for learning language. Not even for a wee second did a bleak image of the advertisement appear in your mind. Without thinking much you said- “Sorry, I don’t know!” Right there! “Marketing” just met a massive failure!
Marketing, at the onset, was one solid rock, barely carved out into suitable niches. The trend budded right at the time when people, better say the customers, were ready believers. With time, the marketers had to face a fresh wave of smart and stubborn customers at every stage. This turned out to be both an opportunity and a challenge.
Over the years, marketing became the main artery connecting the products with the customers. In no time, it saw a natural bifurcation- direct and indirect marketing. Direct marketing is one you come across more frequently. Rightly as the name says, the products are pushed to the customer channels through glaring advertisements and a range of other marketing routes. Indirect marketing is more subtle in nature. It performs the same function as that of direct marketing, though with a much lesser magnitude. The aggressive and some of the more conventional techniques are usually avoided here.
If you already have one foot in the marketing domain, you must be knowing that indirect marketing has gained traction in the present decade. Looks like it is here to stay for the next few years. But are the businesses aware of the blind spots in indirect marketing? Mostly they are, but there are definitely a few aspects they are myopic about. Precisely, the main problem with indirect marketing is that, the audiences do not get to know much about the product at a first glance. Neither the product nor its name stares out from the pages or sites they are advertised on.
So now, the million dollar question- while you are all revved up to take your marketing to the next level, are your target audiences ready for the change? Subtle marketing has definitely served the bigger and the more established brands fairly well. But I hope the actual reason behind their success has met your eyes. These top giants have already made their marks eons ago, and now, their customers are just following the trails. Very less or almost no marketing initiative is being required to trigger them now . Wondering why? Because these customers already know where the trails lead!
It’s no mean feat to meet success through indirect marketing. The platforms used for the purpose may be frequented by your prospective customers, but are you sure they are visiting those mediums for the very purpose of buying something? Even in such cases, if you want to draw their attention to your products, will indirect marketing be the best choice? Possibly no. To expect the customers to get attracted to a product even when they cannot remotely connect with it, isn’t very justified.
Here’s a list of what all you might be missing out on, if you blindly follow the indirect marketing trend-
Attention: As much as you detest being loud about your product, you do want your voice to be heard in the market. There’s simply no way you can let the minimally generated curiosity lead the way. Remember, the bare minimum for an ideal marketing campaign is attention, something, indirect marketing cannot ascertain.
Interest: As a matter of fact, indirect marketing does generate ample interest among its audiences due to the slow, steady and unraveling nature of the advertisements. But there are times, when focusing more on the benefits and less on the features may reduce the market life of your brand.
Desire: The more the customers see and hear about your product, the more are they supposed to desire, let’s say crave for it. Your marketing approach is the only weapon to generate this desire. Your barely vocal marketing technique will not convince the customers much and your product may eventually take the backseat.
Action: In order to stir your customers into action, your marketing wheels need to be constantly on the run. A slow and steady approach will consume nothing but time. Your customers may or may not receive enough stimulation to go ahead and make a purchase.
As a reader, were you alert enough to notice that each of the above points started with an italicized letter, and that I was desperately trying to draw your attention to the very popular AIDA model followed in businesses? Well, now you do, since I made things more direct. Same is the case of indirect marketing. The AIDA concepts are not emphasized enough, though not completely ignored.
In the era of screaming advertisements, it is important for your brand to have a voice and a presence. Especially when you are taking those baby steps as an entrepreneur, a small or a medium-sized company, you need to be a part of the bandwagon, at least for some time . A few bold strides in the beginning will build the essential cogs in your marketing wheel. Once your business achieves the pedestal, there will surely be no looking back! Till then, choose carefully and embrace the optimized dose of both forms of marketing.
To know more about the coexistence of direct and indirect marketing, read my article on hybrid marketing.
Let your product be that light snowflake that never melts away!
Let your product be that tiny butterfly that is beautiful enough to attract, but difficult to catch!