Direct marketing is advertising from a manufacturer or front-end supplier directed to the ultimate consumer of a product or service. Another way of looking at direct marketing is selling to a consumer directly, whether is from a printed magazine campaign, TV or radio spot, or from a direct mail package. It means that salespeople are not physically moving your product; promotions are. Direct marketing is a simple approach but also can be useless if not done right.
In today’s worldwide marketplace, direct marketing takes on many different shapes and sizes. Some companies use direct marketing as just one of the ways to sell their product. Others use direct mail ads exclusively to attract their buyers. For most, direct marketing is integrated into the entire scope of a marketing campaign.
Smart direct marketing people are using more and more sophisticated ways to reach their target market. Databases are used to examine who would be their most likely customers. Their habits are tracked in a number of ways including questionnaires, polls, studies, and by placing “cookies” on their computers to track their movements on the Web.
The most common and most recognized form of direct marketing is a direct-mail campaign. A database is generated to form a list of potential customers and specific information and promotions are aimed especially for them. This gets the information directly into the hands of the people most likely to purchase the products being offered.
Direct marketing offers advantages over other forms of marketing such as network marketing and broadcast marketing. With direct marketing, you can target a very specific group. A company can make the campaign large or small, depending on their budget. Ads can be test marketed to see if the response rate is good before a larger campaign is started. Also, you can customize your direct marketing efforts to your former customers by compiling a database from past orders.