Direct marketing is a marketing method and a form of advertising which involves the delivery of a marketing message to an existing group of customers or identified targeted prospects.
Used by businesses and non-profit organisations alike, there is a specific aim of influencing the customer or prospect to perform a specific action e.g. place an order, make a charitable donation, solicit a request for information or prompt a visit to a physical store or a website, etc.
Communication is direct to customers, on an individual basis, and is not through a mass medium. Communication generally does not involve an intermediary person or indirect media, although could be practised to tight service level agreements by an outsourced marketing agency.
Direct marketing needs to be measurable, so campaign effectiveness can be subsequently analysed and modified to create an ongoing mutually beneficial relationship between the organisation and the customer or prospect.
More Than Just Direct Mail
5 Principles of Direct Marketing
We now go on to explore 5 principles of direct marketing which are an expansion on the definition we gave above:
1) A Marketing Method and Form of Advertising
Above all else, direct marketing is just one type of marketing and a form of advertising. It’s one of a tool of marketing techniques and advertising methods open to the marketing manager.
Direct marketing involves the identification of a target group, which could be existing customers or new prospective identified customers that are seen as being suitable for use to achieve the objectives of the campaign.
2) Aims to Influence the Customer or Prospect to Perform a Specific Action
The whole purpose of a direct marketing campaign is to influence. The direct marketing campaign objectives need to be defined prior to the campaign. This definition enables the measurement of the degree of success after the campaign.
Examples of actions which may be targeted include sales orders, subscription renewals, attendance at a physical store or website, making a charitable donation, etc.
3) Communication is Direct and Individualised
It sounds too obvious but it’s important to remember that for a form of marketing to be direct marketing it has to be direct. This means the marketing has to be directed to an identified individual and it can’t be a part of a mass campaign (e.g. event sponsorship, every door direct mail, radio, TV, etc).
4) Direct Marketing can be Through a Variety of Channels
5) Direct Marketing Needs to be Measurable
Although measurability isn’t strictly 100% necessary to practice direct marketing, it is for organisations wishing their direct marketing activities to be effective. If objectives are not set, it’s hard to know if the campaign has been a success or not.
Online References to Direct Marketing Definitions
We’ve brought you our definition; here are some other pages worth visiting for you to complete further research:
1) Tech Target
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