Does Your Direct Marketing Take a Break When You Do?
Happy Birthday Steve
We spent last weekend in Swaledale with our three dogs. It was Steve’s birthday, see (I’ll not share how young he is – see our Friday Fun Quiz on Facebook for that!), so what better excuse to get away for a mini break and recharge the batteries?
OK, so the chances of fully recharging over a weekend alone are slim. Nevertheless, having worked pretty much full steam for a whole year, weekends included, these occasional breaks are exactly what’s needed to maintain a degree of sanity and re-focus on the social aspect of life.
Many of us in business find the ability to take time away from the office difficult to fit in. Even when we’re not sat at our office desks, we’re online on our notebooks, tablets and mobile phones. It’s fair to say that family life has changed drastically in recent times, with weekdays and weekends becoming increasingly blurred for many of us.
As is often the case, a holiday simply means working a little less intensely from a different location. It might be that you gain more sun than you would at home, or maybe there’s a lovely cool pool to take the occasional dip in, or possibly even a bar to keep you company. However, unless you’re disciplined enough to say “No” to work, the chances are you’ll be dabbling on a mobile device in some way or other.
Direct Marketing – An Integral Part of your Strategy
Now, for those of you who do work on yer jollies, when I say working a little less intensely, what I mean is that if you’re like me, I dare say the jobs on your “To do” list are ranked in some way according to priority. Often, direct marketing finds itself towards the bottom of that list and as such, during holidays, it can be overlooked……which could well be a mistake.
Direct marketing ought to be an integral part of every company’s strategy. If it’s seen as a way to grow the company, then good, but growth isn’t all that direct marketing is good for – you need it to MAINTAIN your sales. Trust me, if you stop all of a sudden, your bottom line will soon know about it. Think, for example, of how frequently you receive direct mail from the large telecoms providers, or marketing emails from the supermarkets, or maybe even football club notifications of new items available for sale in the club shop via marketing emails or SMS texts! Many of these could arguably be thought of as having a large enough share in the market to not need further direct marketing activity, but they all do it!
Social Media and the Rest
It’s not only your direct marketing that needs to be kept up with too – there’s the social media thing that’s taken the business world by storm. It seems as though you need to remain ever present across all platforms day and night (I’m starting to think some people actually do! Take Twitter, for example – trying to keep up with #YorkshireHour #NorthWestHour and #4NHour is hard work and there are many others too!), otherwise opportunities are missed. Furthermore, in this age, absence does not make the heart grow fonder where business is concerned – instead, you may find the orders dry up!
There’s also the blogging to think about, the networking (contact either me or Steve if you’re interested in coming along to one of our networking events – we go regularly and visitors are always welcome!) and all the other ways that you keep in touch with your audience. It’s almost a matter of having to keep up to it so that people don’t think you’ve closed down! Seriously, if you think I’m being daft, try it (please, don’t!)
Outsourcing – It’s the Future!
The ultimate message I want to deliver here though isn’t that of never taking holidays – that would be crazy – it is instead of ensuring your holidays don’t affect your company’s ongoing direct marketing activity. Use whatever tools are at your disposal……and OUTSOURCE!
Outsourcing isn’t a dirty word, it’s an essential word, particularly to SMEs who maybe don’t have the resources to fall back on that the larger firms do. Outsourcing may cost a little money that you’d otherwise save for doing something yourself, nevertheless the cost may prove to be minimal in comparison to potential lost sales and revenue through simply stopping activities all together. Think of it as an additional cost to your holiday, like putting the dogs in kennels or similar.
We outsource on occasion and not only when we go on holiday, although that’s prime time for us. We have a great copywriter, an occasional telemarketer (we practice what we preach), a market researcher, an IT consultant and even a cat-sitter! Without them, we’d have no holidays and, to be honest, we’d be lost….as would, no doubt, some of our clients!
If you would like details of any of our contacts to whom we outsource (all of which we would be delighted to recommend), please get in touch on 01274 483936. Similarly, we always welcome comments on our blogs, so please get in touch with any thoughts or tips to add to the subject.