Mass Marketing dominated the last century: You need to reach the masses through as many channels as possible. You need retail stores, fliers, website, PR, Ads, Social Media, and and and and and…until you finally reach critical mass and you succeed.
Target is a mass marketer, Huyndai and Delta. Once you achieve ubiquity you get revenue, advancing the cycle, ultimately, reaching scale.
Mass Marketers love macro (soft) metrics while direct marketers love micro (hard) metrics.
Direct Marketers need to get it right on a small scale. The mailer can be forwarded to 200 people, gets a 4% response rate; now you can mail it to thousands of households with confidence.
Direct Marketers experiment on a small scale. When they scale up, they are confident it’s going to work. The Mass Marketers place a big on thousands of little cues, little signals, converations.
A Direct Marketer is the guy at the Blackjack table, placing constant $5 bets. The Mass Marketer is the guy placing a million dollar bet on one number on the Roulette table.
Why do we still revert back to Mass Marketing?
It’s easier to put off the day of reckoning, hoping for a miracle two months in, not wanting to admit failure. Almost every marketing initiative is better when you treat it like direct marketing. Many of the Mass Marketing initiatives are based on hope. Brands rather invest in marketing that’s based in results.
It’s very romantic, ‘Mad Men-like’ to spend the majority of the money at the start. That’s a big bet and you might lose miserably. Rather, bet small in the beginning and scale up when you see a pattern.
We all need to be direct marketers now.