The Advantages and Disadvantages of Direct Marketing

The backbone of any business is the effectiveness of its marketing campaign. Without
implementing successful marketing techniques, companies will not sell products and
businesses will not thrive. There are many different types of marketing methods useful for
showcasing products to consumers. A very common type of marketing is direct marketing.
Direct marketing is a channel-agnostic form of advertising that allows businesses and
nonprofits organizations to communicate straight to the customer, with advertising techniques
that can include Cell Phone Text messaging, email, interactive consumer websites, online
display ads, fliers, catalog distribution, promotional letters, targetted television commercials,
response-generating newspaper/magazine advertisements, and outdoor advertising. Amongst
its practitioners, it is also referred to as Direct Response Advertising.
Direct marketing allows the business to see immediate results from the customers and
prospects when presented with ad campaign. There are several direct marketing activities
which uses the direct marketing tools and allow direct response.
Direct marketing is practiced by businesses of all sizes — from the smallest start-up to the
leaders on the Fortune 500. A well-executed direct advertising campaign can prove a positive
return on investment by showing how many potential customers responded to a clear call-to-
action. General advertising eschews calls-for-action in favor of messages that try to build
prospects’ emotional awareness or engagement with a brand. Even well-designed general
advertisements rarely can prove their impact on the organization’s bottom line. The
demonstrable result of Direct Marketing is the reason for its increasing popularity.
Other than making their products known to their customers, the companies can use Direct
Marketing to gather feedbacks, comments and suggestions from them.
Physical marketing wherein it involves a salesperson knocking from door to door
selling a product or service requires time, budget and effort. It doesn’t ensure the marketer
that each house that the salesperson visit would buy the product. Whereas for direct
marketing, results can be done in two ways. One, when customers call in and ask for
assistance, employees can offer callers of the new product to resolve his concern or simply to
inform them. Second, employees can call customers to inform of the latest offers of the
Also, direct marketing builds a strong customer relationship. When customers are heard
and valued, most likely, they will choose the business rather than the competitor’s. It creates a
direct relationship with the customers since it enables them to interact.
 Advantages of Direct Marketing
There are some advantages to direct marketing campaigns. Typically, direct marketing
campaigns request responses from potential customers, making the results trackable and
allowing companies to quickly determine if the campaign is successful. Direct marketing
campaigns are also beneficial to test consumer responses with a small campaign before
scaling up and launching a full, expensive campaign. This method of marketing also builds
brand loyalty as some customers enjoy receiving information on deals and discounts, and
easily become repeat customers.
Measurement of results is a fundamental element in successful direct marketing. The
Internet has made it easier for marketing managers to measure the results of a campaign. This
is often achieved by using a specific website landing page directly relating to the promotional
material. A call to action will ask the customer to visit the landing page, and the effectiveness
of the campaign can be measured by taking the number of promotional messages distributed
and dividing it by the number of responses (people visiting the unique website page). Another
way to measure the results is to compare the projected sales or generated leads for a given
term with the actual sales or leads after a direct advertising campaign.
 Disadvantages of Direct Marketing
While many marketers recognize the financial benefits of increasing targeted awareness,
some direct marketing efforts using particular media have been criticized for generating poor
quality leads and failing to bring a high number of repeat customers, either due to poor
message strategy or because of poorly compiled demographic databases. This poses a problem
for marketers and consumers alike, as advertisers do not wish to waste money on
communicating with consumers not interested in their products. One of the main
disadvantages of direct marketing is the demand from consumers to end unsolicited contact
from companies. Consumers do not appreciate privacy intrusion or the sheer mass of
communication, referred to as spam or junk mail, received on a daily basis.
 Conclusion
The database of a company is at the heart of any good direct marketing strategy. It must be
up to date and accurate. In order to get the most out of a direct marketing campaign, the
mailing lists must be checked regularly to remove duplicate entries, correct any mistakes and,
above all, delete names of people and businesses who have asked to be removed.
The information held on a database is marketing gold dust. It can tell companies about
customers' buying habits and reveal other useful information such as age, gender and location.
This data can be used to divide customers and prospects into smaller groups and target them
with special messages. Companies often build a profile of their best customers and actively
seek new contacts matching that description by buying or renting new lists.
Direct marketing works because it puts the message in front of people. However,
unsolicited letters, phone calls, faxes, emails and texts must only be sent to people and
businesses that have given permission to be contacted.
Direct marketing puts the customer in the spotlight and can make him feel special by
personalising the message sent. Even if Direct Marketing has its advantages and its
disadvantages it’s still highly used by most of the companies because used right, it can help a
company reach its goals.
 Bibliografie
 Jim Sterne, Customer Service on the Internet: Customer Support, Direct Marketing,
and Up-Selling, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York, NY, USA, 1996
 Raj Mehta, Eugene Sivadas, Direct marketing on the internet: An empirical
assessment of consumer attitudes, Journal of Direct Marketing, Volume 9, Issue 3,
1995, Pages 21–32
 Mary J. Culnan, Consumer awareness of name removal procedures: Implications for
direct marketing, Journal of Direct Marketing, Volume 9, Issue 2, 1995, Pages 10–19
 Greg M. Allenbya, Robert P. Leonea, Lichung Jenb, A Dynamic Model of Purchase
Timing with Application to Direct Marketing, Journal of the American Statistical
Association, Volume 94, Issue 446, 1999

Bostanica Elena, grupa 1714, seria A, Marketing

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