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DIRECT MARKETING CHANNELS
Direct marketers can use a number of channels for reaching individual prospects and customers. These include face-to-face selling, direct mail, catalog marketing, telemarketing, TV and other direct-response media, kiosk marketing, and e-marketing. 1. Face-To-Face Selling The original and oldest form of direct marketing is the field sales call e.g. Eureka Forbes, Real Value - Ceasefire. Today most industrial companies rely heavily on a professional sales force to locate prospects, develop them into customers, and grow the business; or they hire manufacturers' representatives and agents to carry out the directselling task addition, many consumer companies use a direct-selling force: insurance agents, stockbrokers, and distributors working for direct-sales organizations such as, Oriflame, Avon etc. 2. Group Selling A. Exhibitions and Trade Shows Exhibitions are a hybrid medium. Some exhibitions are like broadcast media advertising. The aim is merely to put products on show to a large number of customers and excite their interest. Many national consumer exhibitions are of this kind. There may be a direct marketing component. You can ask consumers showing interest to give their name and address to stand staff. These can then be distributed to local dealers for follow-up, or customers may receive a mail-shot to sustain their interest and trigger a visit to an outlet where they can buy. Increasingly, especially in business to business, exhibitions are used as an integral part of the contact strategy. Prospective or existing customers are targeted through your database or rented lists. They are invited to the exhibition and perhaps asked to confirm their attendance. An appointment with stand staff may even be booked. After the exhibition, depending on the success of the visit, there may be a follow-up contact (sales force, telephone or mail). You should use exhibitions when: Sales calls are expensive and you want to get many customers visiting you rather than you visiting them; You want to attract new customers and the exhibition has proven quality attendance. In this respect, the exhibition functions like a rented list; Complex concepts are being demonstrated, so instead of individual demonstrations having to be mounted all over the country, many customers can see the demonstration in one location. e.g. Opel, Honda, Tata, Consumer Durables B. Sales seminars and other company-sponsored special events These include the following: o the straightforward sales seminar, where a concept is described and perhaps audio-visual techniques are used to demonstrate it in action;
Using highly selective mailing lists. Mailboxes may be clogged with many items. where your aim is to educate customers so that they can appreciate the value of your company offering. direct marketing is the medium most commonly used to market such events. Citibank. visits to sporting and cultural events. British Airways. Direct Mail Direct-mail marketing involves sending an offer. Direct mail obtains higher response rates than any other medium used in direct marketing due to its ability to be personal. o awareness and training events.g. being sponsored by you. such as television. determines the nature and size of any direct-mail effort. Many prospects have opened a direct-mail piece thinking it was an important notice from a bank or some urgent message from the government only to find that the envelope contained an offer for a new magazine or insurance plan. Here your aim is to reward your customer for loyalty and to further cement the relationship. o entertainment. selective. As a medium. The difference is that.g. Time–share Club selling.SEM VI o the physical demonstration of the product. Thus. or other item to a person. Reader’s Digest Direct mail is flexible because of its ability to customize a message based on the audience it is appealing to and the circumstances under which that appeal is being made. e. Unlike other media. All these have much in common with exhibitions from a direct marketing view point. all those attending must be invited by you or your business partners (very common in business-to-business marketing). Direct mail personalization is very common. and flexible and to deliver a custom message free of competing advertising to a specific individual or household. Its commercial message is not read incidentally as with an advertisement in a magazine. This personalization is possible because of computing power & massive database that contain names & addresses. radio. Direct mail can be used effectively in both acquisition & retention. nearly every mailing to a-firm's prospects and customers has the name of the target person. the mails have no fixed audience parameters. The days when direct marketers sent mailings with envelopes addressed "To the resident" are nearly gone.g. Today. direct mail is not constrained in how it defines the scope and location of its target audience. but the items are opened one at a time. Sophisticated computer programs massproduce personalized mails by feeding names & addresses onto letters and other pages such as those in magazines. This is the 'soft sell' approach. Direct mail has no editorial environment. often held in your sales office or at the factory. announcement. while others are disguised to appear to be something else. ICICI. foldouts. 3. along with his or her address. the mailer. not the medium. This creates the illusion of a personal contact between the seller and a target market e.TYBMM . Although many direct mail pieces are discarded because they are 2 . and newspapers. direct marketers send out millions of mail pieces each year—letters. To ensure the right quality of attendee. Some mailings look like offers. magazines. HDFC. E. reminder. flyers.
Direct-response television offers produce 60-to-80 percent of the-orders via toll-free phone.Response Television Commercials Today's revolution in direct marketing is most evident in the way direct-response commercials look. guarantee satisfaction and make the product easy to order. Direct Response In Print Media. less frequently. and provide ordering information. TSN. The former gives the advertiser enough time to grab the viewers’ attention. Asian Skyshop. e. Credibility is often derived from demonstrations and testimonials. Most direct-response television advertisements are 60 seconds long. convenient.g. Each of these reduces the risk the consumer may perceive in placing the order by making the shopping experience easy. the advantages of direct mail are as follows: Selectivity Personalization Flexibility Isolation Response rates 4. implying that the audiences react mainly to the creative approach of what they see. depending on which specific publication is selected. what is read still pulls a larger response than that of any other medium.benefits are described.TYBMM . Those commercials must be shown repeatedly because one 60-seeond exposure seldom reaches many members of the firm's target audience or convinces the ones it does reach to place an order. but some are only 30 seconds. However. Magazines and newspapers convey messages on printed pages to mass audiences or highly segmented audiences. direct-response commercials seek to communicate with members or target markets . explain the product. safe and economical. Toll-free numbers connect the caller with phone centers that handle incoming calls they generally operate seven days a week and are staffed to handle the anticipated phone volume. a set of supporting reasons for why the product delivers those benefits is explained These reasons establish the credibility of the product and the offer and may be linked to attributes of the product such as how it works or how it is made or designed. to write for more information. like any other form of advertising. Thus.SEM VI seen as junk. Direct. The object may to be the viewer to place an order by calling a number or. The most successful commercials offer a bargain. Direct marketers benefit from prints in the following ways • Longer shelf life compared to direct mail • Pass-along readership potential • Regional and demographic segmentation 3 . 5. Direct-response advertisements are designed to provoke a specific action from the prospects. with the rest coming in by mail.
In retention. At this stage the choice of communication media can be customer defined. meaning 'to list' The use of the word list may seem rudimentary. Making magazine and newspapers advertising work.SEM VI • Print also allows direct marketers to widen their customers base to non-mail order buyers. produced the first version of a mail-order catalog in 1744. & directly contact potential customers in the target market. It was a listing of several hundred books. Asian Paints. for customer acquisition. while business catalogs have much lower circulations. but even today catalogs are most often both visual and verbal listings of products for sale. the need is to locate. postmasters could send any type of printed matter through the mail. To make a sale. Franklin's profession as a postmaster and publisher. Improving cost efficiency & effectiveness in interaction with the customer is important. and glossy paper have transformed the original unadorned 'list" into one that is fully customized and ready to entertain. The core aim of such campaigns is to recruit maximum number of target customers at the minimum cost. e. art. photographs. 6. a listing of books. Dominos. and sell with the flip of a page. 4 .g. identify. In America. the first postmaster of the United States. Reduce the customer paper cycle & treat more valuable customers differently by contacting them directly through telemarketing. Direct-response magazine and newspapers space advertising must ask the reader to do something. Sophistication of design. Types of catalogs Catalogs are first classified according to whether they are for consumers or business organizations Consumer catalogs have mass circulations. Magazines and newspapers that contain a heavy volume of direct-response advertisements usually outperform those that do not have many such advertisements. • Retention . That catalog was a natural outcome of Mr. Catalogs The word catalog has been derived from the Greek word 'Katalogos'. which will be followed up by mail or a personal sales call. the advertisement must present enough information to stimulate a purchase decision or generate an inquiry. Products are pictured with informational copy designed and worded to entice the reader to buy. In those days m America. Outlook. Berger Paints.TYBMM . Ben Franklin. at no charge. McDonalds. was produced in Europe in the 15th century. This is probably true because particular magazines or newspapers have readers with a positive attitude toward direct marketing activities. the relationship with the customer deepens & the organization can begin to record data on preferences & habits. There are two broad objectives while preparing a direct marketing strategy: • Acquisition . The Week. The first catalog. ink.In media planning. educate.
The Internet. Kores. the majorities are from firms that concentrate almost exclusively on catalog sales. Amazon.g. are designed to cater to specific tastes associated with lifestyle preferences. attitudes. e. reduce selling costs. Telemarketing helps companies increase revenue. as well as e-mail marketing to raise awareness of your campaigns and offers. including differences in interests. and provide service by taking orders and answering questions.g. Siemens. Over the last decade. Omega Stationery. 8. e. Anupam Stationary. ask questions or register online. 7. Its main benefits to the direct marketer include the complementary use besides other more classic direct marketing methods to supply further information. Redifff. Titan. business-to-business catalogs have come to look more and more like consumer catalogs with their emphasis on colorful. sell to existing customers. Banner ads can be placed on complementary sites to attract your chosen target audience to your site to increase response to tactical offers. They usually carry specific types of items such as paper products or electronics as opposed to a general selection. The telemarketing objective is to reach customers in a personalized. lends itself well to similar approaches. activities. and the quality of their appearance and design. It also provides a platform for information on benefits and services for any new potential prospects and a means to apply online or request more information. Tanishq Business-to-Business catalogs sell such items as office supplies and computer accessories. and improve customer satisfaction. E-mail and the Internet The Internet provides marketers with the ability to interact with people far more. which can be far more efficient than updating a catalogue. Telemarketing and m-commerce Telemarketing involves the use of the telephone and call centers to attract prospects. due to its progressive and innovative nature. e. the target markets they want to reach. The specialty catalogs. which carry items ranging from clothing to food. They are the fastest growing part of the catalog market and far outnumber the few remaining general merchandise catalogs. Therefore creativity and interactivity are key to achieving and maintaining cut-through in this highly competitive medium. A well-planned telephone marketing program is a carefully thought-out and controlled activity in which the persons called 5 . costeffective interaction that meets customer needs. It can be refreshed regularly and cheaply.SEM VI Consumer catalogs are distinguishable by the types of items they carry. well-designed merchandise displays and motivational sales copy. Yahoo. While some consumer catalogs are designed to generate retail store traffic. Specialty catalogs dominant today's consumer catalog landscape.TYBMM . Telemarketing can be an important part of an integrated marketing communication program. The catalogs are mailed often to a select list of prospects or to those buyers who have placed an order during a fixed period of time.com. and values.g.com. Tour operators. Bazee.
it can be used to elicit reorders. Companies use call centers for inbound telemarketing (receiving calls from customers) and outbound telemarketing (initiating calls to prospects and customers). A trained telemarketer who does little else besides set appointments for salespeople usually becomes more and more proficient and can often outperform salespeople in this role.TYBMM . • Providing customer service. and patience. e. • Generating lead advertisements • Surveying.SEM VI have been identified as actual or potential members of a firm's target market. With existing customers. This includes training in proper voice inflections. and setting appointments for sales people. and completing paperwork. they must perform as part of their jobs. writing proposals. or increase the volume of products purchased. particularly database technologies. Orange. A telemarketing firm must have qualified telephone operators who have been well trained in the use of the telephone as a marketing tool. identify new prospects. Airtel In fact. telemarketing helps build and maintain satisfactory customer relationships. control. telemarketing primarily involves order taking because the buyer sees an offer and calls to place an order. Even though salespeople may have much more knowledge about the firm's product line. • Advertising (Public Relations) • Pursuing collections. or direct mail. and handle smaller customers that are not profitable to sell in person. Citibank. including outgoing and incoming callings • Setting qualified appointments. companies carry out the following types of telemarketing: • Selling.g. As a result. including preparing and giving face-to-face presentations. listening skills. qualifying them. including communications hardware and software. The scope of telemarketing is limited only by the imagination of the direct marketer. It can also resell inactive customers. and speed of the telephone. Sales people have a variety of duties. telemarketers can do better 6 . Although no other marketing tool can match the cost-effectiveness. print placements. The most effective telemarketing programs make use of the latest technologies. Setting Qualified Appointments Setting qualified appointments involves calling prospects. they may have relatively little time to prospect actively for new customers. ICICI. In this role. sell additional products or services. Incoming or inbound telemarketing must be used in conjunction with some other method of promotion such as direct-response television advertising. Selling by telephone is the most profitable telemarketing application. thus. persistence. it takes more than just good telephones to get good results. Selling: Telemarketing based selling involves outgoing or outbound solicitations for a firm's products or services. flexibility. HSBC.
TYBMM . Therefore. what the customer(s) product needs are. for example. A firm can have its best product or service in the market place.SEM VI because of their concentrated focus on prospecting. which sharpens their selling skills and improves their closing ratios. or to report that their shipment has been damaged. along with price information. the prospect is contacted by a sales representative or is sent more information to stimulate a sale. This activity generates lead advertisements by identifying potential candidates for future selling. will result in a successful campaign. Without the burden of prospecting salespeople are free to spend more time selling. Outbound telemarketing is only as effective as the prospect list it uses. Surveying Some firms use telemarketing surveys to gather market data about customers and prospects. to inquire about where their order is. the firm needs to manage a database of every lead. These lead advertisements may be either customers with whom the firm already has a relationship or people who fit the profile of the firm's existing customers and therefore should have a propensity to buy. After solving the customer’s problem. Advertising (Public Relations) Advertising that serves public relations function involves calling companies or individuals that could benefit from a firm's products or services and describing the opportunity to them. The information collected through survey is entered in a database for future reference. As a result. Data from these forms Become part of the database. customer call. Sales representatives should fill out a contact form after each appointment and each follow-up call. to complain that they have received the wrong products. it is imperative that the names of those telephoned are carefully selected. Generating lead advertisements A lead-generating program provides a source of information about prospects who have expressed an interest in the product or service offered by a firm. that the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) does not consider it appropriate to attempt to disguise the purpose of a sales call by representing it as a survey. but only a list of target market members who are good prospects to make a purchase. Note. and any product purchasing plans. No sales attempt is made on this 7 . the customer service representative may take the opportunity to announce new products or product modifications. To ensure the success of lead-generating programs. The caller communicates information about a new product or service or a modification to an existing product or service. Such calls are scripted in much the same way as general advertising copy. including information about who makes the decisions in the household or business. It considers such a misrepresentation an unethical practice and actively tries to discourage it. however. Providing customer service When telemarketing is used in connection with a customer service function.
from PC to mobile and from digital TV set-top box to mobile. Most inserts outperform sales advertisements but they tend to be three to six times more expensive depending on the quality of production. Mobile will enhance but not replace traditional marketing functions. Short messaging service (SMS) SMS is the written text service. or else the message can be lost and damage done. Rather.SEM VI kind of call because it just informs the other party of something he or she should find of interest. the better the response. with the right offer. For a direct marketer it means that your message is isolated from the run of the journal & has the opportunity to stand out more effectively Prepaid reply cards & free phone response numbers make it easy to for people to respond e. Inserts Many publications offer to place flyers. Some readers find it irritating but many respond well as they are the first thing in the journal that they see & thus have an effective impact. the combined impact of brand activity and a strong timely offer through SMS can have a big impact. As this channel is fairly new. though less widely used. it pursues receiving payment. and the more value you add. With SMS comes the promise of personal and local marketing that is both interactive and immediate. at the right time. telephones. 8 . which is sent from mobile to mobile and also. Collections are an often the overlooked aspect of telemarketing. Computer Institutes 10. inserts for direct marketers.TYBMM . 9.g. care should be taken to ensure the message is targeted to the right person. Results have shown that the more interaction you have with the receiver. it has the benefit of increased cut-through and impact on its audience who may still be receiving marketing through SMS for the first time. Videotext and interactive TV Here the consumer's TV set is linked with a seller's catalog by cable or telephone lines Consumers can place orders via a special keyboard device connected to the system Much research is now going on to combine TV. because this is an incredibly personal channel. The credit department's phone-related activities also include credit verifications. This is often called 'message to mobile'. SMS communication should never be used as a stand-alone campaign. and computers into interactive TV 11. The media space is simply not robust enough to communicate on its own. However. However. Pursuing collections Credit department telemarketing does not sell a company's products or services.
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