SMEs get direct marketing right

Small businesses are starting to make the most of direct marketing campaigns and are improving all the time.


Small businesses are starting to make the most of direct marketing campaigns and are improving all the time.

Small businesses are starting to make the most of direct marketing campaigns and are improving all the time.

A quarter of small firms were considered to be using best practice in a survey of top marketing experts conducted by communication specialist Pitney Bowes. This is predicted to rise to 39% in the next two years.

Best practice is considered to be where:

  • Customer and prospect records – along with their key details – are stored in a database which is regularly cleaned to eliminate inaccuracies, track contacts that have moved, and relate purchasing activity to customer profile.

  • Existing customers are profiled and then prospective customer lists of ‘lookalike’ organisations selected for prospecting activity.

  • Campaign respondents are examined to improve targeting.

    “Clearly, smaller organisations have noticed the gains made by larger firms through sophisticated direct marketing and have begun to implement best practice techniques themselves.” So says Barry Jessop of Pitney Bowes. “For small companies, marketing sophistication – encompassing speed, quality, and cost-efficiency – must be in place if such firms are to achieve healthy market share and compete effectively against larger businesses.”

    The survey also revealed a marked variation between different industries, with IT firms proving the most effective marketers while builders propped up the table. Surprisingly, IFAs, estate agents and car dealers were found to be somewhat lacking in direct marketing skills.

    (26/5/05)

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