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.