Digital Marketing Priorities: #5a Direct Response 8

This is the fifth post exploring my 8 digital marketing priorities in greater detail. This post will focus on essential and basic online direct response advertising campaigns.

1- Strategic Plan

2- Site Web  

3- Email newsletter

4- Social Media

5- Base Campaigns solicit direct responses to collect on « easy sales »

Before launching an image or brand building campaign, it is necessary to capture all possible easy sale you can online and via mobile. By “easy sale” I mean those consumers who have decided to proceed in buying something you have to sell – whether it is from you specifically, from one of your competitors or the vendor is not yet decided upon but you do make or offer what it is the consumer is looking for. You must then be there where and when they are in research mode, or in the moments (hours & days) before they actually pass at the cash register, to influence where they actually go to spend their money.

To be crystal clear, your brand needs to be on every possible online and mobile directory that’s relevant to your sector and the geographic region you serve. You also  need to exploit the power of online classified ads. If what your sell can be found on these sites then you need to be here as well even if it is with brand new items at different price points. You should also seek out specialty classifieds sites like that might be more relevant to what you do.

Going after the easy sales includes a base pay per click campaign of search keywords and phrases in line with what consumers about to sells hat you sell might search for.

Finally, there are 2 display advertising base campaigns that all brands should engage in: A- retargeting your own website’s visitors after they have exhibited a behavior fitting a potential sale on the horizon; and B- targeting online users across ad networks and ad exchanges through real time bidding who’s data indicates they have an “intent to buy” or are “in-market” for what you sell. Where these last two are concerned I would encourage you to keep abreast of new online behavioral advertising (OBA) industry-wide self-regulation that is being put in place here in Canada (IAB Canada, ACA, ICA, AAPQ, ASC, CMA, CMDC and CDMQ) or in the US where it is already in effect through the DAA.


5a- Directories

Being listed in online and mobile directories is to ensure permanent positioning where people search for businesses to find what you offer. There are numerous online and mobile directories out there. Beyond the major ones like, there are many niche ones for each business sector and geographic region. Many people still have the reflex of searching for business types, or specific merchants if they are seeking an address, phone or fax number. When one knows what they are seeking, a directory can be faster than a search engine to access the info you are looking for. Pay attention to national, regional and municipal directories. Also look to industry specific directories like

As a business it’s important not to judge and stick to actual consumer behavior. As we’ve covered in a previous post that citizens still read newspapers and newsletters despite a downward trend, many people still use yellow pages-type directories.  Although the propensity for using the print version may be quite low in urban areas, it remains high in more rural areas – however here we are encouraging you to ensure you are present on their online version, very much used even by urban populations.

The simplest way to go about this after covering those you know about, is to ask follow business operators what they use and how it is working for them. Another, probably better way, is to ask your customers which they currently and occasionally use.

Do not forget any relevant mobile app. Run a search in the various app stores to discover which industry specific directory or business discovery apps are downloaded most and contact then to ensure you can be found that way too.

It is important that your store locations or service centers be present across all these directories at all times as you never know when a consumer could be shopping for you. If you aren’t there, your competition is what they will find.


5b- Classified ads

Classifieds ads are sometimes frowned upon by marketers as they usually serve to sell used goods between consumers. However several categories of merchants have found them of extraordinary value to their business. This includes the service sector as well (read on).

Used automotive sales use classified ads to promote individual cars for sale on top of all their other sales and marketing channels and make a decent return on their investments. The same is also true for other types of products, but not only for used products. Entry level products can sometimes have a similar price point as some used higher end, or the price difference between new and used might actually be worth the extra money if new comes with warranties. In any case it is worth the effort to at least try this sales channel to see what type of results you will obtain.

Be cognizant that different classifieds sites will host different types of online buyers, some have a more financially secure clientele than others.

If you cater only to an affluent client base, or only sell luxury products, then classifieds may not be for you.

If you are in the service sector it is likely that classified sites can be of indirect value to you. Often times services relate to products and if those are sold on classifieds sites then offering your services through display or text advertising next to those products will make your ads that much more relevant. Some simple examples include real estate services next to homes being sold directly by the owner to offer an alternative. Another would be banks offering mortgages next to homes or personal loans next to used cars or other big ticket items. Consider what products relate to your service and how you can tailor a message to capture those sales.

Next week we will look at priority #5: basic online direct response campaigns

Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below: would you change the order of digital marketing priorities I’ve put forth? Have I forgotten anything significant?

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