There are only two types of advertising campaigns: branding and direct response. Brand campaigns seek to build awareness and emotional connection - think Coca Cola or Apple. Direct response campaigns seek to elicit a direct action - think late night infomercials and sales letters. Building an eCommerce brand today involves a careful mix of both strategies.
The science of direct response advertising harkens back to mail order catalogs and print advertisements of a century ago. The principles of persuasion applied in those mediums years ago are still applicable today in digital formats.
Volumes have been written on the art and science of direct response advertising. At 365 we study great marketers and seek to apply the strategies, tactics, and best practices of the best advertisers. Where we think brands can truly accelerate growth is the thoughtful execution of a Media Company Strategy that allows for the intersection of Brand Marketing with Direct Response. Of all of the advice written on this topic the leader is arguably Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuck. This book is perhaps the best modern execution of brand building media paired with the occasional “asking for the business”.
Within the context of executing on a direct response initiative we believe a funnel is the best framework for customer acquisition. Marketing greats such as Eugene Schwartz (5 Levels of Awareness and author of Breakthrough Advertising) and E. St. Elmo Lewis (AIDA model) are most often attributed with popularizing the concept of a funnel to describe the phases that take an individual from unaware all the way through to loyal customer. Today we have more robust models such as the Customer Value Journey by Ryan Deiss and entire industries built around funnel marketing (Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula and Russell Brunson’s Click Funnels).
We believe that the purpose of a business is to acquire and retain customers. The best foundation for customer acquisition is a great direct response funnel. The best way to retain customers is to build a brand of making customers successful. To this end, we believe that every eCommerce brand should have a core direct response offer.