“Direct marketing is a type of marketing. It has two main characteristics that make it different from other types of marketing. The two characteristics are as follows:
- First is that in direct marketing an attempt is made to send messages to consumers directly, without the use of media that intervenes. In this process, the channel used can be that of commercial communication like direct mail, e-mail or telemarketing. The messaging established with businesses or consumers is usually unsolicited.
- The second attribute of direct marketing is that it drives purchases attributed to what is referred to as a “”call to action.”” This involves emphasizing trackable and measurable positive response or feedback from consumer irrespective of the kind of media used in the process
Laster Wunderman in the year 1961 was the first person to popularize this form of marketing. Columbia Records and American Express sailed on the wave of direct marketing. The term spam was coined in 1993 while the junk mail dated long back to 1963. Both of these were unsolicited mails that pioneered the direct marketing concept.
Attractions of Direct Marketing
As the benefits of direct marketing are easier to measure directly, it has become the choice of many companies. The example of this being that of a marketer sending out millions of solicitations via mail which results in 10,000 customers responding to this promotion, the marketers can easily claim with confidence that this campaign led to the responses directly. However, the recipients offended by the spam or junk mail are not measured easily. However, measurement of response through other media that is indirect cannot be measured accurately.
Disadvantages of Direct Marketing
Like everything else, direct marketing has its demerits too. Some companies use this concept to send unsolicited emails. If the mails are not useful for the recipient, they are called junk mails. These irritate the users and some even become against the concept of direct marketing. No marketing strategy should have the power of invading the privacy and irritating the users. Provisions and features exist in the mail boxes that such unsolicited mails can permanently be removed from popping up in the mail-box, so he entire purpose of direct marketing gets defeated.
The channels or mediums used in direct marketing are as follows:
- Direct mails: The mails can be sent directly to the prospective customer through regular post boxes. This is one of the most widely used channel of direct marketing finding a lot of popularity amongst old and women customers.
- E-mails: Attractive offers and advertising campaigns through e-mails are other effective weapons of direct marketing. This method is cost effective as no postage cost has is involved.”