7 Direct Marketing Ideas Small Business Marketers can steal from Fortune 500 Companies

Are you one of those small-scale business entrepreneurs who dream of getting large-scale success that international brands such as Apple, Samsung, Google, etc. have achieved? If you are then the successful methods that are used, at least at reaching out to the customers are more or less similar.
Depending on which type of product/good or service that you are selling you can choose your method accordingly. Although there are many types of reaching out to your target audience, direct marketing remains one of the most hard-hitting and effective manners where by companies can directly communicate with their customers. They can measure the feedback of their customers without an intermediary involved. This method, thus involves a direct call to action that has to be taken. It is an effective method that can be used by companies of all sizes; from start-ups to even some of the biggest leaders on the Fortune 500.                                                                                                                    
Leading companies such as Sony, Microsoft, BMW, Toyota, Disney, Wal-mart, Honda, Pepsi, H&M, etc. are all known for having used some form of direct marketing. Whether it is has been through brochures, online display ads, interactive consumer websites, cell phone text messaging (SMS), emails or any other method of directly communicating with the consumers, this method of marketing is known to carry with it a strong sense of reliability and trustworthiness behind the brand.
So, if you are on the scout for some sure-shot effective marketing strategies that will help your business you can definitely refer to what has been successful in the past. Fortune 500 Companies are well known for their high amounts of revenue that they have generated.
Some of the top 7 direct marketing ideas that can be used by small businesses (which have been also used by some of the Fortune 500 Companies) include:
1)      Direct E-mails: By sending a direct e-mail to the personal email account of the customer where either a questionnaire or certain direct questions or posed forward; it is easy for a company to measure the feedback of their product or service.  Although a guaranteed response is not ensured, many customers can directly give their feedback to the company. A method which is used by all types of businesses, in an attempt to get and retain customers Google is well-known for using this method. Other well-known companies include National Geographic Channel, etc. You won’t be surprised if your small business will increase in its outreach by using this method!
It is a great way for small businesses to establish a relationship with their customer. Although, there is always the downside of emails being deleted immediately this method is sure to help your business grow!
2)      Social Media Sites (such as Twitter and Facebook):  An easy way for both customers and a company to communicate (instantly) is through various social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. where direct messages can be sent and received. A method, which is tremendously becoming one of the most popular methods of reaching out to customers, social media sites are great places where your company can engage with customers on an ongoing and instantaneous basis. For example, well known companies such as DSP BlackRock Mutual Funds, CRY India, Thomas Cook India, B2B companies, restaurants, etc. all engage in this method.  Through this method, polls can be taken, contests held and various other creative methods of engaging with the target audience.  
3)      Internet Ads: Although ads which can be found on the internet (via various search engines) can give out the message to the customer, there is little room for direct feedback. These advertisements can be in different forms – display or textural ads and are placed in search engines.  
4)      Mobile Marketing: Have you ever looked down at your cell and seen an SMS that has been sent to you requesting some feedback? Many of the leading companies in the retail, dining, NGO sector, etc. have all used this method to get feedback from customers. Your small business can reach out to hundreds and thousands of people when employed well. Brands such as Macy’s Victoria’s Secret, Domino’s Pizza, McDonald’s, etc. are aggressively and continuing to make use of this method. This method involves receiving direct feedback from customers through text messages (SMS-short-messaging service) and MMS (multi-media message service- i.e. those messages which are marketing communications which are sent in the form of media messages.)
5)      Telemarketing (where the marketers directly call the customers by phone): Receiving a phone call from a company is not a surprising method of obtaining feedback in today’s times. Known to be a very powerful tool to obtain feedback, many companies engage in this method. Although this method is known to help increase the number of leads, it may not always be effective (as customers may choose whether to receive telemarketing calls on their landlines). For instance, haven’t you been on the receiving end where you have got a call from companies such as Birla Sun Life Insurance, Flipkart nor even Amazon where a person asks for your feedback? Similarly, although it may seem strenuous and futile, the long-term impact created in the mind of the customer of your brand if you were to use this method is enormous!
6)       Direct response magazines and newspapers: Two of the most popular forms of media that people refer to are also great ways by which companies can also receive feedback regarding their products or services. Known to contain plenty of ads, both magazines and newspaper ads can be used to elicit a direct call-to-action. Some of the different methods would include a QR code that can be scanned by a mobile device, a toll-free number to call on, a coupon that is redeemable at a store or any other method.
7)       Insert Media (such as a wide array of media that are inserted in to other communications (such as in newspapers/catalogues/package: Businesses can also reach out to their customers through insert media, which is a form of marketing that directly reaches out to customers.                                                  
So, take your company to another level of fame and make use of these methods of direct marketing to engage your customers!