Direct Marketing: What Is It?
Direct marketing describes a company’s effort to market directly to its target community in an effort to convert targets into consumers. It is a basic marketing strategy that is used by all kinds of businesses from a small neighborhood sole proprietorship to a global corporation.
Direct marketing typically includes three basic traits: 1) the ability to address a target market directly (such as by phone), 2) the provision of a call to action (such as providing a number to call), and 3) a measurable means of investigating whether a direct marketing campaign is successful (such as how many responses to an advertisement were received). There are many types of direct marketing “channels.” An overview of the most popular ones will help you get a clearer idea about how direct marketing strategy is used.
Direct Response TV
Direct Response TV refers to television advertisements that pitch a product or service to television viewers followed by a call-to-action, such as a telephone number. (Think of how many commercials you’ve viewed that ended with “Call us now at 1-800…”). These television ads, including infomercials, are examples of Direct Response TV.
Telemarketing is a very basic type of direct marketing that entails calling potential consumers, informing them about a special service, product, or offer, and attempting to motivate them to take advantage of the offer.
As the name implies, this type of marketing comes to target consumers by way of the postal office. Direct mail includes credit card offers, magazine subscription cards, catalogues, demo DVDs, and anything that a company mails to you in order to get you interested in buying a product or service they are selling.
Couponing refers to the act of marketing to customers with coupons. Coupons are distributed in stores, or sometimes accompany another product you have purchased as an incentive to buy more or to benefit a partner company. Coupons also come in direct mail, usually in the form of booklets. Coupons have also become very popular in digital or electronic form on the internet, and it is now possible to have a store personnel scan electronic coupons directly on a customer’s mobile phone.
Becoming increasingly popular over the last several years, email marketing is a direct marketing strategy that involves a business reaching out to target customers via email. The emails customarily consist of news and information about the company’s products and information about how to get in touch if interested.
As more and more people become dependent on the internet for nearly all aspects of basic living from searching for information to grocery shopping, the internet has become a very lucrative place for direct marketing. There are several ways that companies use the internet for direct marketing. We already covered e-mail marketing. There is also search engine marketing in which companies pay to have their ads placed in listings that are produced after a certain keyword search. Display ads are another form of direct marketing online. They are advertisements in the form of digital banners, pop-ups, or videos displayed to a potential consumer as they are visiting a site. Social media is another online marketing tool that is being used by anyone who is business savvy in today’s world. Everyone, from doctor’s offices to Coca-Cola is using social media as a form of direct marketing.
Mobile marketing is another form of direct marketing that is getting more popular as people are spending more time on phones with computer capabilities. Mobile marketing continues to get more and more creative, but in basic terms, it features pitches sent directly to your phone. The mobile phone company you are signed up with, for example, may send you a text message about a limited offer on a new product that has recently become available in stores. This is an example of mobile marketing.
Direct marketing offers great potential for increasing your business revenue by allowing greater access to target customers. It incorporates the ability to convince potential customers to take advantage of your offer and utilizes values of marketing psychology, which is the science of understanding what makes potential consumers buy. With the number of options available for direct marketing, businesses have the option of choosing a channel that is appropriate for their own unique image and goals.
Author’s bio: Alice McLean is a writer at bestdissertation.com with background in history, sociology and internet marketing. Now she is writing her first book on internet marketing.
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