What can PPC learn from direct marketing?

Looking at the two disciplines of PPC and direct marketing individually, what parallels, lessons or procedures can be applied from one to the other?

Whilst PPC and direct marketing have there obvious differences in being online and offline tools, they could be said to be cousins. In fact there is even an argument to say that PPC is just another incarnation of direct marketing. So what can each learn from the other?

What can PPC learn from direct marketing?

Testing: All serious direct marketing is tested first, simply because of the costs involved in getting it wrong. Because PPC is so easy and self service, sometimes good testing procedures can fall by the wayside. Major PPC campaigns should always be tested on a small scale first before being scaled up.

Measures of Success: Successful direct mail relies on three elements; the list (audience), the mailer (message) and the implementation (timing). Applied to PPC, a successful campaign therefore requires the right targeting of audience using keywords (and negative keywords), good advert creatives, and scheduling to make adverts appear at the right time of day and even on specific days.

What can direct marketing learn from PPC?

Immediacy: PPC can be implemented almost in real time, which places pressure on direct mail to improve it’s own speed of response to opportunities. In the past mailing campaigns could take months to plan and organise because of production times, but now with the advent of solutions like Hybrid Mail, direct mail can start to become stealthier and faster, just like PPC.

User focus: PPC focuses your marketing onto what people want, what are they searching for, how do they express their searches? There’s always room to make mailings more focused on the needs of the recipient. After all if you’ve done your research you should be able to discuss what needs you are meeting with confidence.