Over the years, marketing has been categorised in many ways. Direct and indirect, for example, refer to two different approaches to marketing your business. Direct marketing involves addressing your audience through straightforward media, such as a telephone call or email. Think of the ad that pops up while you're playing your favourite app game, asking you to download yet another app game. That's direct marketing. You can read more about how direct marketing can help your business in our previous post. But today, let's introduce indirect marketing.
Indirect marketing is the opposite approach.
You don't directly address your audience or try to sell them your product through obvious CTAs. Instead, this is the longer route to lead generation. In an indirect marketing approach, you focus on building your reputation as a brand over time, rather than making a sales pitch.
Examples of indirect marketing
Indirect marketing takes many forms, and you can choose what suits you based on the size of your business and what industry you're in. Here are some of the most common types of indirect marketing activities:
Content marketing and social media
Sponsorships and product placement
The role of indirect marketing in business
Before they buy your product, your audience should know, like, and trust you. Indirect marketing helps you build authority and establish yourself as a thought leader in your region or market. Instead of directly selling your product or service, you'll sell a big-picture story that your audience can relate to. Every marketing activity revolves around your industry and customers' needs, adding value to your community. Over time, people in this community will become your cheerleaders and loyal customers.
Nike is a great example of a company that has been doing this for a long time. Their campaign "You Can't Stop Sport" and their slogan "Just Do It" communicate how important an active lifestyle is, rather than shamelessly pushing their workout attire. In the minds of many across the globe, the Nike brand is now synonymous with sports.
But this level of brand association doesn't happen over night. Indirect marketing involves listening to your audience and creating marketing material that addresses their concerns. Your main source for ideas and inspiration is the audience you are trying to market to. That's why social media is an ideal channel for indirect marketing—not only can you filter out and respond to customer concerns and questions, you can also use that as feedback for further market research, product updates, and events.
Who should use indirect marketing?
Any business can include indirect marketing activities in their overall marketing strategy. The biggest benefit of indirect marketing is that you can choose what you want to do and even complement it with other marketing efforts. For example, social media marketing, especially Facebook, is better suited for small businesses than Twitter. If you're an established business that's introducing a new line of products, then influencer marketing and referral programs would be effective to promote your product.
Don't be afraid to experiment with different activities. Only then can you choose what works for your business and get returns from your efforts. We hope this post helps explain indirect marketing and its role in business. If you have any questions, feel free to drop them in the comments, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can!