You would think that after all the insights into why and how people are using the Internet that organizations would go beyond the idea that their website is part of the “direct response group” yet that is just what is happening in certain industries. While there are some caes where a website could be direct response, i.e. to support direct marketing via informercials, today consumers are turned off by the hard sell and often want you to help them understand why they should do business with you rather than just offer them a very low price.
I understand that price has become more important today for consumers who want to feel in control of their finances but what I have also witnessed first hand is that consumers are willing to pay more for a product, service, that meets their personal needs. There are generic Oreo cookies yet Oreo’s has found a way to remain among the best selling product within the category. How? By an in depth understanding of their audience and providing a great product.
While marketing’s job is to meet basic business objectives of sales and profit marketers have to do a better job of getting into the head of their prospects and segmenting their audience by needs and wants. Sure there are people who are going to switch from Progressive insurance to Geico strictly for price but there are also a lot of people who want to ensure that if they have an accident their service provider is going to work quickly to get their car back on the road. If they read how either provider screwed over other customers they are likely to base their purchase decision on knowing they made the right decision.
If you envision your website as a “direct response” tactic or have it report to the “direct response group” than the dollars you are spending for interactive marketing are being wasted. You’re going to spend more time with the analytics group measuring what you do rather than listening to your prospects to help them make an informed and educated decision by providing information that is relevant to them.