All direct marketeers know that converting prospects into a customers is the life blood of the direct marketing business.
It’s not the first sale that really matters – many willingly take a loss on the first sale just to acquire that new customer.
Most have figured out how much business an average customer will do with the firm over a number of years. It’s probably an order of magnitude larger than the initial sale because these marketers continually ask their customer to buy more stuff. They send catalogs, sales letters, bargain flyers, e-mails. Continually. Religiously. Obsessively.
All this communication develops in the collective mind of customers a position about the company. Low cost, reliable, great guarantees, unique products, whatever.
In cases where companies aren’t building brand and establishing a positive position consciously and consistently, their customers will do it for them.
By establishing a positive and compelling position in the minds of their customers and prospects, actively directing the effort and consistently communicating relevant messages, they will find their most important metrics improving – conversion rates, amount of sale, frequency of purchase.
My contention is that paying attention to your brand is important to direct marketing long-term success. Perhaps not as important as a powerful offer backed by a no-holds-barred guarantee in the short-run, but every bit as important over time.
Think of the direct marketing companies in which you have established a relationship. I’ll bet nine out of ten will have established and promoted their brand along with their offers. I’ll bet they are more successful in acquiring and maintaining loyal customers. I’ll also bet their life-time value per customer is higher than their competitors who have disregarded branding.