When you plan your direct marketing strategy, it is essential to recognize the difference between strategy and tactics.
Strategy is the overall plan of what you are trying to accomplish (raise $20,000 in new revenue).
Tactics refers to each of the specific actions to be taken (send a postcard, followed by a letter, followed by a phone call).
The difference between strategy and tactics can be expressed in musical terms.
Tactic: Just for that one song, make an impressive sound.
Strategic: Be able to play more songs like a true musician.
The first strategic step is to set your goals… with specifics that can be measured.
Most businesses have several vague goals they like to achieve:
• Get new customers,
• Retain your present customers,
• Have your current customers buy more and
• Keep everyone happy so they return again and again.
Without specifics, the effort seems to diminish as time flies by.
But saying and writing down specific goals sets up a target to be met, for example:
• Get 12 new customers,
• Retain 45 customers,
• Have 14 customers increase their purchases by 10%.
To do this easily, make up a special spreadsheet for yourself with three columns.
• Write your strategic goals in one column to the left.
• Think up appropriate ways to get each goal done (tactics) and list them in the center column.
• A third column is used to record the results as they happen.
For instance, suppose you do need to raise $20,000 in new revenue, in addition to what you're already taking in now?
Examining the above list, you realize there are actually two separate sources of increased revenue: new customers and current customers.
You may decide to create a new product. What better test group than your current clients?
Already, you have strategic credibility with them so you know they'll at least give consideration to your mailings or phone calls (tactics).
If your present customers purchase what they see or hear, you'll know your strategy is worthwhile and paying off. Then you can move into phase two and start offering the product as a way to attract new customers.
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