Search as Direct Response
Direct response marketing is one of the best-known marketing tactics. It’s a tactic meant to elicit immediate action from the consumer. That action may be a purchase, a reply with information, or even just a click. Search marketing isn’t always labeled as direct response marketing, but here are three reasons why it should be:
1. Search Tools Directly Gather Data
In the olden days of direct marketing, before there were digital marketing tools to compile data about consumers, companies had to request information by way of mailable fliers that they stuffed into envelopes and in the middle of magazines. This manner of eliciting data was a type of direct response marketing, but the response was neither direct nor a form of marketing.
Only specific types of people chose to respond to these information request pamphlets, and the people who chose to respond probably did not need to be marketed to—likely, they were already devoted to the product. Thus information request fliers didn’t foster useful data or new customers. Plus it took a long time to mail all the fliers, receive the mail, sort through it, and make use of the data. Search marketing does not require any consumer effort beyond the consumer’s own intentions. It gathers data from search choices and aggregates it with other data to create insight.
Search tools directly gather data because they can monitor the way trends are moving just by understanding the most popular search terms and results. Search marketing mines data much better than any old direct marketing campaigns could by looking at cost per action (CPA) and pay per click (PPC) results. Thus, search marketers not only see the most popular choices, but they can also see how well those choices and their relevant actions convert monetarily. And they don’t have to wait for their results.
2. Searches Offer Immediate Results
In search, immediate results are also specifically catered results. Whereas companies used to have to reach out to customers to offer products, now customers can easily find companies and products on their own time.
Instead of infomercials that attempt to tell consumers what they want, search allows consumers to decide what they and seek it out. Good search marketers use data to customize search results such that the right results appear in front of the right people.
3. Customers Can Promptly Act
Direct response marketing campaigns are known for their calls to action. Any particular search offers many calls to action, and those calls have grown varied as search marketing has developed. Today someone searching for a particular song will be able to act on that search in many ways. They can click on a video of that song, purchase the song on Amazon, go to a site with the song’s lyrics, or head over to the song’s Wikipedia page. Traditional direct response marketing offers many fewer calls to action.
Not only can customers act in search, they can take prompt action. Actions in search need not be monetary but may lead to eventual monetary action. All searches provide direct responses to those companies that are running analytics on those searches. These responses may be in the form of information, action, or otherwise.
With the advent of search, direct response marketing has become an even more direct and customized tactic. Consumers get more of what they want, and companies can know more about the consumer. Search, as direct response, is a win for both parties.