It’s easy to get confused about the difference between direct and indirect marketing. Throw in the difference between public relations, advertising, marketing, and then paid versus earned, and it’s no wonder brands get overwhelmed in the marketing world. The growth media world. The branding world? Performance marketing world? Disruptive advertising world?? Full Stop.
It’s actually not that hard to understand the difference, if you put it the right way.
Direct marketing involves paid advertising in direct-to-consumer ways:
–Promoted social media posts
–Sales pitches (in-person, over the phone, video ads, or via email campaigns)
–Paper trails (newspaper, magazine, flyers, mail, billboards)
Indirect marketing can be paid OR earned, but are less in-your-face to the consumer:
–Organic social media posts
–Word of mouth (on the street or on Yelp)
–Blog posts (yeah, like this one)
–Earned media (getting written about by press)
–Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
——(yeah you probably incentivized/paid them, which sounds like direct marketing like a sales pitch, but they’re not posting a “look, please buy this” — they’re talking about it in Stories, tagging it in the background of photos (product placement), or going into why they love or use it so much without an obvious call to action or Buy button. Think of it as injecting the idea of buying it into the minds of consumers, as opposed to appealing to their eyes with a list of features.)
That’s the gist. And a business/brand needs both. Now to the tougher questions — How much of each type do you need, and how much do you spend on one over another? And are there more than 2 categories?
The short answer: You need a growth consulting or performance marketing agency to inject A LOT of strategy into how to use any and all these different methods of marketing. And if you ask Rock Candy Media in Austin, we’ll actually tell you there are more categories. Our favorite?
It’s kind of our thing. Redirecting consumers away from your competitors by injecting doubt at every turn. The kind of earned media people remember, or even act on right in the moment. Strategic storytelling to capture and share not just your product or service, but the authenticity and heart behind it.
It’s the opposite of what brands find with most other advertising agencies, the ones that throw you on a template because it worked for someone else. We’re the Anti-Template. We like to make you nervous, see you in action, be unfiltered with each other, trust our gut instincts, and it hasn’t failed us yet. If it does? We’ll just make a new category — leaving traditional in the dust is what we do best.