Direct Marketing - an Introduction
Direct Marketing is a marketing process where companies market to carefully targeted individual consumers with an appropriate, relevant and timely offer or message using one or more advertising media to obtain an immediate and measurable response or transaction.
Direct Marketers communicate directly with customers, often on a one-to-one,interactive basis to build and cultivate long lasting customer relationships.
Direct Marketers use detailed databases where they understand customer's demographics, attitudes, preferences and purchasing behaviors. With this knowledge, they tailor their marketing offers and communications to the needs of narrowly defined segments or even individual buyers.
Direct Marketing is also referred to as Interactive Marketing or Database Marketing, because it is expected to be two-way communication with the customer or prospect and it is database driven, where the database contains customer demographics, attitudes, preferences and purchasing history & behavior.
Beyond brand and image building, Direct Marketers usually seek a direct, immediate, and measurable customer response. With digital advertising mediums and e-commerce websites, it is possible to effectively track and measure customer responses, if the customer looked at the offer, responded to the offer by seeking more information, visited the marketer's e-commerce website, or placed an order, etc.
Early direct marketers used catalogs, direct mailers and telephone calls. They gathered customer names and sold goods mainly by mail and telephone. Today, with the advance in database and computer technology, direct marketers are using new marketing media - the internet. Internet provides several mechanisms - email, web advertisements and affiliated websites to drive customers to marketer's website or stores for sales.