direct (adjective):

  1. straightforward, direct, candid
  2. without intervening persons, influences, factors, etc.; immediate; personal

Uh … we’d like to have a word with you about direct marketing.

We’ve seen fit to include the pertinent definitions of direct here because, at times, direct marketers are inclined to take them too literally, causing those marketers to be a tad too … well … direct.

We don’t want to be misunderstood: Directness definitely has its place. But it should be exercised in the derivation of your messages, in the presentation of your value propositions, and in the language with which you communicate. It should not be exercised in the spamming, strafing, or otherwise browbeating your prospects into a state of vanquished apathy.

Everyone who creates a product or develops a service thinks it’s the greatest thing since the beer bong. That’s as it should be. But it doesn’t mean the world shares your opinion. The bitter pill is — unless you’ve cured cancer or figured out what the hell’s up with Donald Trump’s hair — no one cares.

That’s right. You’re the sole proprietor of the conviction that the world should beat a path to your bank account. But it doesn’t mean you can beat the world into buying what you’re selling.

Research your market. Identify the need you’ll fill. Plot your objectives. Identify your value propositions. Craft your messages clearly. Package them engagingly and persuasively. (Comics are engaging. They also can be entertaining and education, if we do say so ourselves.) Select your media strategically. Communicate persistently — even relentlessly — but do it politely and gently.

In these, the Ages of Social Media and Content Marketing, the members of your target audience(s) select the content they want to consume. Pull them in enticingly. They’re not going to be pushed into anything anymore. And they’re certainly not going to be bullied.

Be proud of what you’ve created. Put your best foot forward in promoting what you’ve created. And by all means, be direct. But put down the hammer, even if it’s only a figurative one.

Remember the proverb: If your only tool is an anvil, every problem has to be a horseshoe … or something like that.

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