Researching Online Direct Marketing as a Business Model for E-Commerce

Online direct marketing (ODM) is a marketing technique that can be used to promote and sell products and services online. This type of marketing is also known as “click-to-buy,” “showrooming,” or “one-click buying.” It allows consumers to browse through product offerings online, with the click of a button, and purchase the items directly from the website.

With the growing popularity of online shopping and social media, it’s an excellent opportunity for businesses looking to grow.

Why Online Direct Marketing?

With so much competition and changing consumer habits, it can be difficult to know what approaches will be profitable in the long term. One of the most reliable ways to find success in business is to analyze the competition and see how other companies are conducting themselves.

One of the best things about the internet is that it provides the opportunity to access a wealth of knowledge and insights, quickly and easily. By actively researching and understanding how existing businesses operate, and how consumers behave, it is possible to find the winning formula for fast growth and sustained profitability.

One of the major areas of study that can provide this information is market research. Market research is the process of gathering information about customers, products, and markets, usually through interviews, questionnaires, and online surveys.

One of the most reliable and affordable sources of market research is the web. With the help of tools like ClickFunnels, it is possible, for example, to carry out a simple online survey to gather information about a new product or service, and the results can be immediately implemented.

What Can You Study?

Depending on your niche, you can study a variety of topics within ODM, including:

  • Customer behavior
  • Product evaluation and testing
  • Market sizing and analysis
  • New product development and launch strategy
  • Operations research
  • Market segmentation
  • Product positioning
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Operations management
  • Marketing analytics
  • Growth hacking
  • Logistics and supply chain management
  • Operations research and analytics
  • Online marketing optimization
  • Pricing strategy
  • Operations management
  • Marketing analytics
  • Product management
  • Salesforce Analytics and Marketing Cloud

How Does It Work?

ODM works in much the same way as standard advertising. You identify a target audience (typically via a demographic or psychographic), and then design a marketing strategy, which includes choosing the right platform, to reach this audience.

This strategy should include the type of content that will be produced, the target audience, and the optimal channel. Once you’ve set these parameters, you can start to brainstorm ideas for content.

The main difference between ODM and conventional advertising is that with the former, the content creation is specifically designed to drive online shopping, either through a landing page, or, more commonly, a series of emails.

The Rise in Popularity

With the rapidly developing field of machine learning and artificial intelligence, marketers are gaining the ability to create highly targeted content, based on real-time data and complex algorithms. This content will engage the user without being overly promotional, and it could even induce them to make a purchase, simply by being interesting and entertaining.

Artificial intelligence can also be used to analyze massive amounts of data, and determine the optimum time to send an email or a push notification to a customer, in order to maximize the chance of converting that user into a paying customer. This data-driven approach minimizes the risk of spam, while also increasing effectiveness and reducing the cost of marketing.

The more data you have, the more you can personalize the content. For example, if you know that a particular consumer is more interested in real estate than in fashion or lifestyle, you can target that consumer with content relating to purchasing a home, or even with local properties for sale, rather than just sales pitches for a particular product or service.

The Importance of Context

One of the major differences between online retail and conventional shopping is context. While you might walk into a retail store and simply browse the shelves, looking for what you want without much thought, online shopping requires you to have a clear idea of what you are looking for.

The context in which you encounter an item during your online shopping expedition will impact your decision to purchase that item. This context can be a combination of what you know about the product, what others say about it, and any social media posts, websites, or other digital objects that relate to it. If you’re purchasing a product that you’ve never heard of before, you’ll need to do some research to find out more about it, before committing to a purchase. This is a significant difference between online shopping and ordinary retail, and it means that the tactics used to promote products in retail stores will not necessarily work in a digital world, where all consumers are aware of, and constantly monitoring, the information around them.

Competition Analysis

The first step in any business is to understand how your competitors operate. Without this knowledge, it’s difficult to know where you’ll fit in, and what you’ll need to do to stand out from the crowd.

You can use tools like ClickFunnels, which analyze your competitors’ websites and social media accounts, to quickly find out more about what is popular and in demand, and to identify the weaknesses in your competitor’s approach, so that you can capitalize on these, and build a stronger position for yourself in the marketplace.

Marketing Channels

The second stage of any business, after market research, is to decide upon a marketing channel, or a medium, to reach your audience. After deciding which platform to use, you can identify the specific demographic, and begin to craft content that will be most effective on that platform, or channels.

The choice of channel can either be organic, or paid, with organic being the most popular option. Organic marketing is the process, usually via internet search, of finding and reaching a potential audience, without the use of paid advertisements. Paid marketing, on the other hand, is when an advertiser pays to have their message placed in front of potential consumers, usually through display ads, social media advertising, or sponsored posts on blogs.

Choosing The Right Platform

The choice of platform, or website, is one of the most critical parts of any marketing plan. This decision should be based on several factors, including the target audience, and whether you want to establish a physical storefront, or just a digital presence.

If you’ve decided to create a physical store front, you’ll need to consider researching the best bricks and mortar locations in your area, as well as the legal and administrative aspects of setting up a business in the first place.

For digital marketing, you’ll want to consider:

  • The cost of a domain name
  • The speed of the connection
  • The design of the website
  • The platform (for example, WordPress)
  • The security of the website (for example, HTTPS)
  • The types of content that will be featured on the website
  • The types of email marketing services that can be integrated with the website
  • The analytics (for example, Google Analytics)

To create a buzz and gain attention, business owners should consider using viral marketing, where information about the business is passed from person to person, until it reaches people who may want to learn more, and eventually, make a purchase. One of the most popular platforms, with the capacity to help you launch a viral campaign, is YouTube.

Creating The Landing Page

A landing page, or web page, is essentially a page that a marketer or business owner can use to draw potential customers into taking action, by pushing them to make a purchase, or to sign up for a mailing list.

A well-designed landing page will include a combination of the following elements: