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Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune
(Deemed to be University)
Global Business School & Research Centre
Tathawade, Pune 411033.

Entering the consumer mind

Entering the consumer mind

Understanding the consumer's mind is very important in direct marketing. The consumer has many options today and the consumer becomes very alert, knowledgeable, and aware of their rights.

Dr. Shripad Joshi
May, 17 2021
417

Entering the consumer mind becomes a very important aspect of business today. Before the industrial revolution, there were very few manufacturers and all the manufacturing processes were done manually. Manufacturers were finding it very easy to sell the products to nearby consumers without much effort.

But due to the invention of wheels and machinery, manufacturers started using machines for the manufacturing process resulting in large-scale production and reduced cost of production. Organizations started getting more profit and hence the competition increased in the market. Now it becomes difficult for organizations to sell large-scale production to distant customers. They have to take the help of individuals or organizations whom we consider as middlemen or channel partners.  These partners sell the products to the ultimate customer.

Organizations get many advantages when they are using a middleman to reach the customer like they are released of selling pressure, middleman provides many services like warehousing, transportation, financing, risk-taking, providing market information, etc. but there is another side of the coin. During this process, organizations were not able to maintain good relations with the customer as there was no direct contact with the customers. Getting the customer today is easy but retaining the customer is very difficult.

The consumer has many options today and the consumer becomes very alert, knowledgeable, and aware of their rights. Hence the organization needs to go closer to the customer, getting into the consumer’s mind. It is difficult to read the consumer’s mind but studying consumer behavior is equally important. Hence many companies started selling the product directly to the customer without using middlemen.

Understanding the customer’s preferences and perceptions is very important in direct marketing. It is very important to know what customers like, how they purchase the product what are the different steps they follow when they purchase the product, what factors really influence them while purchasing the product.

These aspects regarding customer are very important to know because it helps the organization to design their marketing strategies. Every segment has its own characteristics, and customers who belong to that segment will react to the organization's marketing strategies.

In direct marketing,  experience in procurement of the verities of the products relating to brand, the payment experience, shipping, returns of the products, services to the customer, delivery of the products all these aspects always affect the brand image.

Positioning is very important in direct marketing. Companies who are involved in direct marketing or selling the products directly to the customers must be able to create a unique image in the minds of the customers so that whenever customers think to purchase the product your company should come to his mind.

Companies in direct marketing to get the customer’s data always depend on their own websites to sell the product instead of selling the product on e-commerce websites because these e-commerce companies never provide the data to the manufactures. These companies use chatbots to get real-time feedback about their new products.

They can test their new products by giving samples to some of their customers. It really helps them modify their marketing strategies, including product, price, promotion, and distribution of their products. This also helps the organizations to provide the products which will satisfy the needs and wants of the customer. It also saves their investment in the wrong products.

The customer database also helps the companies to know the types of the customers, percentage of the customer who purchases the products, and mainly the demographics of the customer. Basic customer analytics is available free of cost.

Social media always helps new start-ups to reach customers. These companies use “Lookalike Audience” tools of the previous purchases to get new customers and serve them more effectively and efficiently at minimum expenses. Facebook algorithm studies your existing customers, searches their same profiles, and reaches them with suitable advertisements.

Providing real customer value is the main objective of every organization. Retail companies nowadays invest in value-added services like loyalty points, free shipping, etc., and attract a good number of customers.

When any company thinks to go for direct marketing that company cannot survive with digital marketing. Converting the commercial website into an e-commerce website is not an easy thing. Those companies who want to sell their products online have invested in many aspects like process payments, creating and maintaining good relations with customers, making available live chat and customer support, analyzing customer data, contacting the customers, using Google Analytics, etc.

The company will require additional warehouses and some additional services, some additional human resources to serve the customers. Customer acquisition and retention, content creation, and improving the customer experience are the pillars of direct marketing today.

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