An excellent working definition of direct marketing would be as such: a method of disseminating marketing messages which doesn’t rely on any marketing middleman to achieve its objective. Consumer Direct Channels are used to interact with customers and provide them with goods and services they desire.
The success of direct marketing is measured by tracking the amount of orders it brings. For example, if Amazon.com promotes one particular wine during the Christmas period, the success is measured by the amount of registrations that are made through the coupons provided by Amazon.com.
Principles Of Direct Marketing
The principle of direct marketing doesn’t have to be confined to any particular mode of communication. While other marketing methods rely on generous budgets and glamorous campaigns for their success, direct marketing reaches its prospective customers through the most common ways.
Everyday communication tools such as telephone, email and the internet are used to inform customers or prospective customers about the products. This creates a direct dialogue between the two parties and also provides a platform for the marketers where they can actively respond to the queries or concern of the customers.
Direct marketing is a form of interactive marketing that creates marketing opportunities out of even the most neglected points of purchases. For example, when customers buy products through electronic shopping, they are exposed to various marketing messages. These messages don’t necessarily take the customer’s time. They can be instead viewed as time-fillers which come into play during or after the ‘browsing’ period of customer.
Most of the supermarkets provide their own catalogs. These catalogs are given for free but the objective which they achieve is immensely vital. Customers will come to understand fully the range of products and also the special price cuts and promotions. Similar avenues are explored by Direct marketers, be it through TV, blogs, websites or even voice mails.
Communication With Social Venues
The methods of communication are numerous; however, the marketing messages disseminated have certain common characteristics. While mass marketing manufactures standard messages, direct marketing messages can be customized to appeal to individual customers.
All that is needed is accurate and relevant data. With the availability of right data, these messages can be changed and made to conform to the current trends. These up-to date messages appeal more to niche customers than standard messages. The reason for this can be attributed to the adaptability of messages to the individual person’s response.
All these techniques are used by social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube. These sites track the activity of their user base and display relevant marketing messages to the masses. These days customers/prospective customers choose their own messages by subscribing or ‘liking’ a particular content provider. All these trends have led to an explosion of messages on the international direct marketing scene.
Social Advantages And Value
There are many advantages of Direct marketing. One of them is the possibility it provides to the marketers for building long-lasting relationships with customers. But there are many downsides too. Direct marketing can be perceived by some customers as irritating and ill-timed. There is also concern about the quality.
Much of direct marketing (especially phone calls) is outsourced to countries whose people are not proficient in the ‘host’ country’s language. Ill-timing and poor quality of messages disappoint customers. Many people also feel that techniques of Direct marketing pose a threat to their privacy. Tracking customer’s activity on the website and storing their vital information is perceived by some people as offensive and intrusive.