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Indirect marketing: what is it and how does it work?

Indirect marketing involves no hard selling, no promotional codes, and no one-time offers. So how does it work? Read on to find out.

What you are about to read is a very useful article, which is going to help you better understand indirect marketing.

This article will explain what indirect marketing is, provide you with some examples, and list some pros and cons. You’ll walk away knowing more about indirect marketing than you did before, and hopefully be inspired in your own marketing efforts.

This article will not include a hard sell, it won’t offer a promotional code to use, and there will be no one-time offers.

In fact, this article about indirect marketing is actually an example of indirect marketing.

What is indirect marketing?

Indirect marketing is marketing that isn’t focused on expressly selling a product or service. Rather, indirect marketing aims to build brand awareness and strengthen relationships with customers.

Indirect marketing is key in supporting the early stages of the buying cycle, such as research and awareness, whereas direct marketing hits the pointy end of the buying cycle, where customers are urged or enticed to make the purchase.

The success of indirect marketing campaigns isn’t measured in immediate sales. Indirect marketing is based on the premise that success will be achieved over time.

What are some examples of indirect marketing?

If you’ve turned on your laptop or switched on your TV today, you will almost certainly have come into contact with indirect marketing. Here are some examples:

Public relations (PR):

This is when a brand is promoted in the media because something about it is newsworthy or relevant to public discussions. PR is mostly distributed to journalists via a press release. The press release might be about a new product launch, or about a service that can solve a topical problem. Often an expert will be offered up for interview.

Seach engine optimisation (SEO):

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the master of digital indirect marketing – it’s purpose being solely to make sure your business’ website ranks highly in search, based on keyword and key phrase searches.

Social media:

Sure, there are times when we offer discounts and promotions via social media, but often we don’t. Most businesses regularly serve up posts that only define or reinforce branding or make connections with our customers – and that’s indirect marketing.

Blogs, instructional videos, thought pieces:

These are articles, infographics and videos that provide some benefit to the customer. They might explain how a product works, how to do a DIY project, or even explain some element of marketing.

How does indirect marketing work?

Indirect marketing acts as the foundation of marketing activity, making sure branding and relationships are strong and solid, so that when a direct marketing campaign is rolled out, it’s more effective.

Indirect marketing addresses the three questions every marketing campaign should answer: Who are you? What do you offer? Why should we choose you above other brands?

Once customers understand these elements, they are most likely to choose you when the need arises or when prompted to do so by direct marketing campaigns.

What are the pros and cons of indirect marketing?

Indirect marketing serves a specific purpose and most of the cons have to do with the specific nature of the marketing.

Indirect marketing takes time simply because building relationships with customers and media takes time; building a brand doesn’t happen overnight.

The effectiveness of indirect marketing campaigns is not easily measured simply because brand awareness isn’t easy to measure, nor are relationships.

Similarly, the pros of direct marketing relate to its core purpose. Indirect marketing provides benefits to everyone, no matter what stage they are at in the buying cycle, because it creates deep relationships with customers and establishes the brand. Direct marketing only hits those at the very pointy end of the buying cycle.

Why you should include indirect marketing into your marketing mix

Direct marketing and indirect marketing each play important roles in marketing campaigns – one is not more important than the other, so it’s crucial to include both in your marketing mix.

Direct marketing, without the relationships and brand building of indirect marketing, is less likely to be successful. Likewise, indirect marketing, without the incentives and calls to action to buy, will never be effective.

Speak to the marketing experts 

Getting the mix of indirect and direct marketing activities is a balancing act, and is one best achieved through years of experience, knowledge, and expertise.

Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne who create and execute marketing strategies that result in tangible bottom line results. 

To find out how we can help your business, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or send us a note via the contact form below.

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