What is Direct Marketing? Description
Direct Marketing involves a "direct response" from a consumer. It is a
technique that is used to address commercial messages towards individual consumers.
A synonym which is sometimes used is "One-to-one Marketing". It differs
from regular advertising in that it does not place its messages on
mass media such as newspapers or TV. Instead, the marketing message of the
service or commodity is addressed directly to the consumer. This sales and
promotion technique uses promotional materials such as leaflets, brochures,
letters, catalogs, or print ads that are delivered individually to potential
customers via so called "addressable media":
- The mail (Direct Mail).
- Telephone (Telemarketing).
- Humans (Door-to-Door Selling, Party Plan Selling).
- E-mail (E-mail Marketing).
- Internet (Behavioral Targeting)
- Mobile phones.
Direct marketing is dependent upon the use of customer data and lists,
normally in databases. Hence also the terminology: Database Marketing.
These databases are searched and "crunched" to select those consumers that
have the optimal chances for sales success.
A related form of marketing is Direct Response Marketing. Contrary
to Direct Marketing, in Direct Response Marketing the customer responds to
the marketer directly. Its most common form today is Infomercials via
television presentations, to which viewers respond directly via telephone
or internet. Coupons in magazines and newspapers are another type of Direct
Origin of the Direct Marketing model. History
Researches have found the roots of direct marketing in Europe when
it emerged from the Middle Ages (and feudalism) and entered the Renaissance.
The first trade catalogs were issued by printer-publishers of the 15th century
soon after Gutenberg’s invention of a moveable type (c. 1450). Credit for
the oldest extant catalog (1498), which gives prices for inexpensive books
by Greek and Latin authors offered, goes to Aldus Manutius of Venice.
Steps in the Direct Marketing method. Process
- Strategic decisions. Researching. Targeting. Set the objectives.
- Communication of the offer.
- Customer response and ordering of the products. Donation. Subscription.
Membership. Attending a demonstration. Asking for more information.
- Fulfillment. Filling the order. Distribution. Customer service.
- Database Maintenance and Customer Relationship Management.
Strengths of Direct Marketing model. Benefits
- Effectiveness can be measured directly by comparing purchasing behavior
of targeted vs. non-targeted consumers.
- Direct contact with the customers.
- Consumers receive commercial messages which have been adjusted to their
Limitations of the Direct Marketing approach. Disadvantages
- Sometimes criticized for generating unwanted solicitations (Junk Mail
- Privacy concerns. Legitimate Direct Marketing firms should offer methods
by which individuals can 'opt out' of these lists upon request. Direct Marketing
agencies must respect the do-not-call list maintained by government
agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Book: Edward L.
Nash - Direct Marketing: Strategy, Planning, Execution -
Book: Bob Stone,
Ron Jacobs - Successful Direct Marketing Methods -
Direct Marketing Special Interest Group
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