Email marketing of tobacco companies. Is direct marketing a solution for industries that face advertising restrictions?
Advertising Ban on Tobacco Companies
Out of the many restricted products, tobacco holds a top place for confining its entry in regular advertising campaigns. Due to the rising health concerns caused by the intake of tobacco in the form of cigarettes, the World Health Organisation (WHO) imposed a ban on tobacco companies for engaging in traditional forms of marketing. This increased regulation of tobacco products, has forced these companies to look out for other forms of marketing to engage with their customers.
While TV, radio, newspaper and selected magazines are the restricted channels of tobacco marketing in most of the countries, these companies search for non-conventional ways of marketing. Some of these ways include, print media, sponsored public events, in-store advertising, sponsored online content and direct marketing. Among all these non-conventional ways of marketing, tobacco companies have found solace in the direct form of marketing by engaging their consumers and target audiences through emails and newsletters.
As these companies have been banned in the most effective media, the restricted companies need to spend more money to target the masses. When these comprehensive bans resulted in a reduced consumption of the product, tobacco companies started finding ways to effectively endorse their products with a minimum spend. With the help of allowed media and the adaptation of direct marketing techniques such as email, web and mobile marketing these companies are now able to reach their consumers while obeying the norms and avoiding negative public perception.
Direct Email Marketing used by Tobacco Companies
Direct marketing enables consumers to opt-in for the mails they wish to receive directly from the preferred brands, while allowing them to opt-out whenever they want to. Most of the tobacco companies build relationships with their consumers by sending them discount vouchers, coupons and giveaways through emails. These tactics allow tobacco companies to efficiently reach out their customers, engage with prospective customers and inspire its brands loyalty. Email marketing also allows tobacco companies to target the desired market segments with custom messages.
Studies suggest that in 2013, the total spent on direct mail and web marketing tobacco companies in the USA summed up to US$68.8 million. An additional spending of US$281.1 million on coupons was also recorded. It is one of the most preferred form of advertising.
We shall now see how direct marketing helps industries that face advertising restrictions in expanding their reach and growing their businesses.
What is Direct Marketing?
As an ideal direct marketing campaign focuses on the promotion of a specific product or a service, industries facing advertising restrictions can use it for gaining the attention of their audience. With the help of direct marketing, these industries can allow customers in registering their interests, subscribing to the company’s emails, visiting their websites and making purchases directly through the website. It gives brands the opportunity to promote their products directly to the customers who need them the most.
In addition to providing customers with captivating content, direct marketing also helps companies in building ties with the new buyers, examining the appeal of their products and analysing the effect of their marketing approaches on the target market. Due to the advertising restrictions imposed on the banned companies, direct marketing comes with its own set of benefits and challenges. However, when planned strategically, it will provide the best results in the form of increased sales and customer retention.
Advantages of Direct Marketing for Restricted Companies
- Targeting the ideal customers – In order to make the most of direct marketing, companies need to take their campaigns directly to the ideal customers. This can be done by doing a research to identify the customers who are in need of your products and focusing the marketing efforts where there are the highest chances of achieving positive results. Once companies are aware of their target customers, they can target specific groups of customers with customised emails. A properly targeted direct marketing campaign also provides companies with a thorough understanding of their customer responses to their products and services.
- Marketing on a budget – Direct marketing is predominantly targeted at a particular customer group and helps companies in setting realistic goals and enhance its revenue using an affordable marketing budget. As compared to advertising through sponsoring events and print media commonly used by restricted industries, direct marketing comes at a fraction of the total cost.
- Increases sales and retains customers – As people are more comfortable in dealing with familiar businesses, direct marketing helps in building a personal relationship of the brand with its customers. Companies can increase sales to their existing customers by maintaining customer records in their databases and choosing simple yet well-planned promotional strategies to engage the customers. Direct marketing can also be helpful to companies who plan to re-establish relationships with consumers who have not been regularly using their products. It not only helps in approaching the lapsed customers but also helps companies rekindle their sales and keep accurate records of customers by finding reasons why customers move out.
- Improves customer loyalty – Direct marketing allows restricted companies to send personalised promotions, newsletters, offers and coupons to create an immediate link with their customers, through which they can easily build personal connections between their businesses and customers. It also helps companies to send birthday cards, special discount vouchers and invites for upcoming promotions to their customers, thus making them more inclined towards the brand.
- Make a direct connection – As direct marketing establishes a direct connection between the chosen market and the company, it gives better sales success rate to restricted industries as compared to advertising campaigns which target the mass media, where there are people who are not at all interested in the products. It allows these industries to achieve fast and flexible sales results and also target the prospective market. The products marketed directly also get a boost through the word-of-mouth through existing contented consumers.
As these advantages of direct marketing clearly outweigh the disadvantages occurring due to the imposed ban, it is an ideal marketing solution for industries facing advertising restrictions.
Anna Clarke is the owner of online writing company 15 Writers. She is a successful entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience in freelancing, academic dissertation writing consulting, specialising in Business, Economics, Finance, Marketing and Management.