Direct marketing - Direct communications with carefully targeted individual consumers to obtain an immediate response and cultivate lasting or enduring customer relationships.
Direct marketing usually is carried out through telephone (telemarketing and telesales), direct mail (brochures, catalogs, flyers), direct-response broadcast advertising (television & radio), online computer shopping, and cable television infomercials and home shopping networks.
There are many benefits of direct marketing--both to buyers and sellers.
Customers enjoy the convenience of direct marketing as they do not have to battle traffic, find a parking space, or shop through stores. Often they can simply order from a catalog using the telephone or while shopping online and never even have to leave their home as good are shipped directly to their doors. Buying through direct marketing channels is also private and easy and does not have to involve a face-to-face interaction with a salesperson (being a sales and marketing professional myself, I find it hard to believe...but many people do not place a high value on dealing with sales people). Direct marketing can also offer a wider selection of products while making comparison shopping easier with greater access to alternative or competing products. Finally, direct marketing is immediate and good can be purchased immediately in the exact desired configuration. In short, direct marketing can be fun, save time, offer a broader selection, allow comparison shopping, and allow the individual to direct-order customized products.
Sellers also enjoy many benefits of direct marketing. It is a great tool in customer relationship building as it provides direct communication with customers. Direct marketers can also gather a great deal of information about their customers that not only enables them to provide addition value through new products and services, but it also allows them to more precisely target who likely customers are. Direct marketing also can reduce costs (minimize overhead of retail space, utilities, etc.) while increasing the speed and efficiency of the operation. In short, direct marketing allows sellers to customize offerings, create ongoing relationships directly with customers, preserve privacy, and constantly adjusted to improve response rates.
Some examples of direct marketing
Direct Response Television Advertising:
Those "dreaded" infomercials on television have proven to be effective and consumers have been receptive to them. Infomercials are a 125 billion dollar industry in which nearly two thirds of Americans 16 and older will have seen a direct response television ad (2002 data), translating to 136.2 million viewers. One in four American viewers says they have purchased an infomercial product, most often by calling a 1-800 number to order. Sales have more than doubled in the last five years. A successful infomercial product can generate more than 40 million dollars in sales in just three months. Retail sales generally come soon after, and on the average, are 4 to 8 times greater than television sales.
Catalogs save time, appeal to those who are fearful of shopping due to crime rates, offer convenience, allow leisurely decisions, offer privacy, often offer toll-free telephone numbers to place orders, and allow comparison of quality and price.
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