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Why social media is king in direct marketing

Richard Jones

May 5, 2014

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In an effort to cut out the middleman and make a beeline right for the profits, many businesses have turned to direct marketing strategies. Rather than go through retail stores or other outlets, these companies are trying to sell their products straight to consumers.

Thanks to the evolution of technology, direct marketing is getting easier by the day. Now that everyone has not only mailboxes and phones, but also email accounts and mobile devices, there are a handful of channels that companies can use to get their messages out quickly.

Perhaps the best one of all, though, is social media. Given that people these days are dutifully checking their Facebook pages every few minutes, there's no better time than the present to rely on such social sites for making direct connections with consumers, their data and their spending habits.

The growth of Facebook marketing
The New Yorker recently shined a light on the growth of Facebook as an advertising outlet. Political and economic expert John Cassidy asserted that in a few short years, the site had turned itself into "the world's biggest direct marketing company" - because 80 percent of Mark Zuckerberg's revenues come from advertising, including both banners and sponsored News Feed items, the site today is a marketing behemoth.

"Where Facebook outdoes other big media companies is in its ability to target ads based upon its users' activities on the site," Cassidy explained. "In many ways, in fact, Facebook is the world's first global direct marketing company."

The beauty of engaging in direct marketing via online outlets lies in the wealth of information that's out there today regarding every consumer. People are willing to share data about themselves online more now than ever before, and companies can use all of that knowledge to gain a better understanding of all of their target demographics.

The need for data
For companies everywhere to capitalize on the growth of social media-fueled direct marketing, they need better, more complete information about the consumers they're targeting. That's where data enrichment solutions make their mark, enabling companies in numerous industries to gain a more complete understanding of their current and future customers.

There's a wealth of information out there for companies to capitalize on, thanks to social media, but it's often woefully incomplete. The next step is to take the existing data and flesh it out, helping businesses to better tackle the marketing and sales challenges that lie ahead.

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