Direct marketing is a marketing method which uses advertising to target customers and prospects with the intention of influencing them to follow a particular desired action.
Communication of marketing messages in direct marketing are always direct and there are a variety of different direct marketing channels which can be used. Organisations using direct marketing put measurements and analytics in place to ensure that lessons are learned and campaigns can then be modified for improved future success.
Five principles of direct marketing
There are five general principles for direct marketing, these are summarised below:
1) Direct marketing is both a marketing method as well as a form of advertising
2) Direct marketing intends to encourage established and prospective customers to undertake a particular course of action
3) Direct marketing involves direct communication to a given individual
4) There are a wide variety of direct marketing related channels
5) For direct marketing to be effective measurements and analytics need to be in place
Key advantages of direct marketing
Here are some of the main advantages of direct marketing:
1) Builds loyalty – direct marketing builds the brand base and grows awareness
2) Direct – direct marketing connects the organisation directly with the customer
3) Effective – over the years, direct marketing has proven to be effective whilst providing ROI
4) Measurable – direct marketing is measured through tracking and monitoring
5 )Targeted – direct marketing can be targeted at a personal customer or prospect specific level
Some disadvantages of direct marketing
Here are some of the disadvantages of direct marketing. Although these are all openly discussed disadvantages of direct marketing, these can all be overcome by working with a quality direct marketing company such as Baker Goodchild:
1) Environmental impact – Many feel that direct marketing affects the environment through excessive direct mail. This can be countered by personalising direct mail, so mail sent is actually likely to be received well by customers
2) Image impact – Mainly through privacy intrusion, organisations can have a negative impact on image through direct marketing. This is relatively easy to counter, through responsible marketing and ensuring all customers and prospects marketed to are opted-in
3) Limited reach – The reach for direct marketing can be limited as it’s not a mass broadcast, but there again at least the customers and prospects are targeted.
4) Privacy intrusion – Direct marketing (particularly direct mail and telemarketing) can get a bad press for intruding on privacy. This can be mitigated against by only marketing to opted-in customers and prospects, work with a quality agency like Baker Goodchild to achieve true opt-in
The direct marketing family
We’ve listed just some of the many direct marketing channels below, the most popular of which is direct mail. All of the following are effectively children to direct marketing in the family structure:
1) Direct mail – using the postal service to directly contact customers
2) Direct Email marketing – using the postal service to directly contact customers
3) Event marketing – using event marketing to directly contact a customer
4) SMS marketing – using text SMS marketing to directly communicate
5) Social media – using social media to directly contact customers and
6) Telemarketing – using the telephone to directly market to customers
Direct marketing uses a variety of channels; the key to remember is that direct marketing always connects to the customer/prospect directly . It’s important to realise that direct marketing isn’t the same as direct mail. Many direct marketing channels can also be used in an indirect way (e.g. an SMS message could be sent to a specific individual or could be part of a mass (indirect) broadcast. Examples of indirect marketing would include – affiliate marketing, event sponsorship, online advertising, press releases, print advertising, search engine optimization, social media (where used indirectly) and TV and radio advertising.
Integration often works best
Taking an integrated approach often works best with direct marketing technologies. It’s often best to integrate various marketing methods together to maximise value for money and marketing spend. This includes:
- Integrating direct marketing spend with indirect marketing initiatives
- Integrating various elements of direct marketing together (e.g. a campaign which includes direct mail, direct Email marketing and telemarketing as an example)
- Integrating direct marketing with digital marketing (e.g. search engine marketing (including PPC and SEO), internet advertising, social media marketing, apps, digital display advertising, mobile phone advertising and other digital media uses
- Integrating direct marketing with other forms of technology, such as QR codes, Augmented Reality and Near Field Communication (NFC)
Discussing direct marketing with Baker Goodchild
We’ love to discuss direct marketing with you here at Baker Goodchild. Call 0800 612 1972 or fill out our contact form and we will be in touch very shortly. We are direct mail specialists primarily but can also advise on the use of direct mail in an integrated way with other direct marketing techniques.