Direct marketing is a marketing system that relies directly on distribution or communication to consumers rather than through a third-party medium such as mass media. Social media, email, and text campaigns are part of the delivery systems used. It is called direct marketing because of its nature; it eliminates the middleman, such as mass media.
How Does Direct Marketing Works?
Direct marketing distributes or communicates campaigns directly to target audiences, unlike traditional marketing, which communicates campaigns through a third party such as mass media or media publications. For direct marketing, brands deliver advertising campaigns and sales pitches using emails, SMS campaigns, social media, or mail. Direct marketing personalizes the marketing message it sends to its audience by inserting the recipient’s first name to increase engagement.
The essential element in direct marketing is called call-to-action. The call-to-action directs the recipient of the campaign on what to do immediately after receiving the message, either by clicking a link to a landing page, sending a reply, calling a phone, or visiting their social media page. Any feedback is an indicator of a potential purchaser. This form of marketing is what we call direct response marketing.
Examples of call-to-actions used in direct marketing:
- Call this toll-free number
- Visit our website
- Join our social media group
- Join our zoom meeting
- Register for our webinar
- Subscribe to our newsletter
- Buy from us
Importance of Direct Marketing
It allows you to reach your target audience. This form of marketing will enable you to reach your target audience with your products and services. For instance, a business can set up a marketing campaign on social media for a particular geographical location and age group, and within few hours, the campaign will reach the right audience.
It helps you to customize your marketing message. Direct marketing allows marketers and businesses to create personalized marketing messages using consumer data. A business can access vital customer data such as demographics, age, occupation, browsing history, etc., and use the information to create customized marketing campaigns for their customers and potential customers.
It is an effective and faster way of reaching customers. It is an effective marketing tool to reach customers quickly. A marketer can set up an email campaign within hours and get it delivered to potential customers inbox in a matter of hours.
Direct marketing can be measured. Any business that uses this form of marketing can track its marketing campaigns and measure its success. The use of direct marketing can help you to analyze your campaigns and measure your ROI. You can see the number of customers who saw your campaigns, those that responded, those that made a purchase, and the amount you spend to have that result.
Features of Direct Marketing
Since direct marketing is another type of marketing, we need to look at the features that differentiate it from other marketing forms.
Targeting. The very first feature of direct marketing is targeting. This form of marketing allows you to target the right customers. If the type of marketing you are using doesn’t allow you to target the right audience, it isn’t direct marketing. Targeting an entire audience will waste your money since many of them wouldn’t be interested in your product or service.
Segmentation and customization. Brands access customer data and group them based on their age, demographics, income size, etc. this helps them create customized campaigns that will be relevant for each group.
Tracking feedbacks. Without tracking customer’s feedback, you will never know how your strategies are performing. Direct marketing mediums allow customers to respond to marketing campaigns and quickly leave feedback as well as allowing brands to monitor the performance of their campaigns together with customer feedback.
Advantages of Direct Marketing
Direct marketing is the most cost-effective marketing tool to easily establish a direct connection with your target audience as a brand. It helps low-budget brands effectively communicate their marketing campaigns directly to their target audience without using traditional marketing channels like television and radio, which are considered more expensive than any form of advertising medium.
Social media makes it easy for companies to directly market to their target audience in different parts of the world.
This type of marketing is more effective and easier to measure as compared to the other types of advertising. Brands can analyze their marketing campaigns, analytics, track their progress, measure ROI, and tweak marketing strategies without the services of a third-party medium. Brands can measure their return on investment by how much they spent on marketing campaigns, how many customers responded to their campaigns, made a purchase, made a call, click on a website link, and many more.
It helps build and improve customer loyalty. Direct marketing is an effective way for brands to build and maintain relationships with existing customers and prospects. It allows businesses to create customized and personalized advertising messages to create great connections with customers and strengthen existing relationships.
It allows marketers to measure the performance of a product. It helps marketers to evaluate how customers are consuming their products or services. This makes it possible for marketers to measure sales results, enter new markets, measure their campaigns and promotions. Marketers use the information they gather from measuring and analyzing their results to tweak their marketing campaigns for maximum success.
This type of marketing presents new business opportunities. It allows marketers and brands to adapt to market demands all the time and respond more quickly and effectively.
Direct Marketing and Indirect Marketing
While direct marketing involves directly communicating marketing campaigns to customers and prospects in a face-to-face manner, indirect marketing consists of all marketing types that use a third-party medium to reach their audience.
Direct marketing helps businesses to quickly and effectively reach potential customers with their products and services. The gains from direct marketing can be monitored, tracked, and measured. It also helps businesses to have an informed decision whenever they want to create another marketing campaign.
On the other hand, indirect marketing is more difficult to monitor, track, and measure as it takes time to get results and doesn’t have any proper channels to enable businesses to track and measure their results. For instance, it takes a lot of time to track your advertising results on television or radio. It is difficult to reach your target audience and measure success since you wouldn’t know whether customers are buying because of the ads they saw on television or referrals.
But we can’t tell which is better. We believe a combination of both marketing techniques will help a business to effectively reach potential customers.
Types of Direct Marketing
Email marketing is a type of marketing that is cost-effective and measurable. It is one of the most effective ways of reaching customers with your marketing campaign. It includes promotional emails, newsletters, or ads appearing in other brand’s emails.
Direct mail is a type of marketing that involves sending advertising materials to customers or potential customers through postcards, envelopes, catalogs, etc. it has been partially replaced by email marketing. Direct mail marketing campaigns are sent to a list of customers on a direct mailing list.
Text (SMS) Marketing
Text messaging is a cost-effective way businesses use to reach a large number of customers with their products and services. Companies mostly gather phone numbers of potential customers, and they send advertising campaigns in the form of broadcast messages to their phones through text messages.
Telemarketing is a type of marketing that involves selling a company’s products and services to potential customers through phone calls. This direct marketing tool has the potential of generating a large number of prospective customers and useful for following up on direct marketing campaigns.
This type of marketing involves printing advertising materials such as flyers, leaflets, and handouts and sharing them with potential customers. This direct marketing tool is effective and inexpensive in reaching customers.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing has become one of the powerful direct marketing tools in the system. It can get your marketing campaigns to your target audience across the globe and allows you to interact with them directly. It is a medium that allows your customers to share your products and services information with their network, thereby increasing your reach.
Web Push Marketing
Web push marketing is the type of marketing that is sent by a company’s website through web push notifications. After a customer accepts web push notifications from a company’s website, it can then promote products and services through their push notification.
Direct selling is a type of marketing that has to do with selling directly to customers. This is carried out by an independent individual known as a salesperson. It is an effective way of marketing a business that is low on budget.
5 Direct Marketing Strategies
Giving out coupons. This strategy involves brands giving out tickets that have discounts or redeemable items in them for loyal customers. The coupons can be used at the company’s sales outlets.
Branded clothes. This involves brands customizing T-Shirts with branded messages and gifting them to targeted customers or staff.
Issuing promotional gadgets. This strategy helps a business analyze how their products will perform on the market before releasing them. With this strategy, businesses give their yet-to-release products to their customers to use for free and gather feedbacks and user-generated content to help them market their products to target customers.
Giving out loyalty cards. This strategy involves giving out membership cards to loyal customers. The membership cards can allow customers to access discounts on products, get free trials, etc.
Guerilla marketing. This type of strategy uses low-cost unconventional promotional methods to boost sales: examples, stickers, outdoor installations, contextual marketing, and many more. Small businesses adopt this marketing strategy.