Direct marketing is a method of marketing communication that uses direct communication with customers. It focuses on specific customers of the company. For example, sending a letter, by phone, or in person.
In general is understood as all forms of interpersonal communication of a sales representative with the subject of communication, aimed at establishing a dialogue; all market activities in which the means and mechanics of communication are used with the intent to establish personal contact with the subject, to obtain a measurable response from the subject. Direct marketing implies a focus on a specific customer, on meeting their needs and understanding them as unique and individual, peculiar only to this client; involves feedback and does not use information intermediaries for communications.
Direct marketing is directed to an individual consumer or a specific representative of a corporate consumer and is carried out according to a list of such consumers drawn up by the firm itself, in which the appeal usually looks as personalized as possible, but mass communication means are used: mail, telephone. Direct marketing is implemented in several “steps” of communication with the client, starting with sending out a letter with an offer of a product or service, a catalog, a brochure, etc.
Filtering communication subjects from a large target group
conversion of the subjects of communication into customers;
acquisition of new customers;
customer retention and further development of the relationship with them;
formation of the necessary opinions and decisions.
The peculiarity of direct marketing consists in personal allocation of prospective buyers for the establishment of direct two-way communication with them, and regular maintenance of individual communications with this buyer. On the world market owing to the ubiquitous computerization, it became possible to combine the advertising campaign’s mass character with an individual approach to each consumer.
Direct marketing is used in those market segments and cases when the personal value of the subject of communication is high when as a result of direct communication there is a high probability of obtaining a new customer, and the cost of direct communication, in this case, is much lower than the benefit of selling the object of marketing to this buyer.
Some firms completely abandon traditional forms of advertising and sales through stores and sales networks, and distribute their goods through direct marketing channels, by order, developing a special marketing policy.
In recent years, direct marketing has also been increasingly used in mass marketing in the market for mass-market goods. The majority of Western marketing experts agree that in the coming years can increase its impact on customers, against the backdrop of the declining effectiveness of advertising means of influence, and will become dominant in the field of marketing communications. In the world market direct marketing is developing three times more intensively than mass media advertising, and in comparison, it is twice as much profitable for advertising agencies.
As additional means for increasing sales, direct marketing is used in the wholesale marketing channel, not for buyers, but marketing intermediaries.
direct mail marketing;
information and advertising messages on product packaging;
personal consultations and training;
trade marketing actions – personal work with the client, carried out at the point of sale.
Contrary to popular beliefs about the antagonism of mass marketing and classical advertising and trade marketing work well together when they are in harmony with each other. Moreover, regardless of the market segment and marketing model, sooner or later at the lower levels of the sales funnel any mass marketing necessarily ends with direct communication between buyer and seller.