Direct marketing is the direct communication to a particular target market directly with the purpose of advertising by the use of various mediums like emails, online ads, telemarketing coupled with fliers and different commercials (Thomas 34). The purpose of direct marketing is to make a firm’s products be identified by the public while instructing the public to buy the products even when these products are unwanted contacts from clients. The key word linked with direct marketing is the call to accomplishment. Direct marketing is vital to various businesses since it enables a business to diversify its marketing strategies, which is the primary requirement for the success of the business campaign and it is vital if a business wants to grow.
Purchasers of products and services availed through direct marketing can frequently buy products and services from the comfort of their homes and offices. This is so because direct marketers utilizes online or print catalog, which buyers can easily browse till he gets the products he was looking for and finish the transaction by phone or internet, which avoids the hassle of shopping malls and shopping centers (Williams 134). People who act in response to radio and television ads can as well finish their transaction with a telephone call or even through the internet.
Previously direct marketers were selling their goods and services primarily by the use of mails and telephones. Currently, moved by the wave of globalization, which has embraced the use of sophisticated database technologies and media marketing, particularly the internet, marketing is undergoing spectacular transformation. According to Kotler (123), in modern world, the dramatic internet growth and the rising complexity of databases, technology has created an unique expansion of direct marketing and a seismic change in what it is, how is utilized and the people who utilizes it.
People who hate dealing with salespeople frequently go for direct marketing since there is no need for face-to-face communication. Buyers can shop at their own speed and take time to do any required research without being pressurized to make judgments.
Direct purchases may mean dealing stringently with the produces without third-party intervention. This removes the price markups, which are added by middlemen, leading to lower prices to the purchasers. It can also offer a purchaser an opportunity to make price negotiations.
Buyers can easily customize the products or services to their precise specifications via direct marketing (Kotler 45). Websites for products are available, which permits the purchaser to actually make product design from the start. This abolishes miscommunication or lack of understanding, which can occur between buyers and sellers.
People making purchase can have unlimited access to special offers, which are just available through direct marketing (Williams 121). For instance, when a purchase is made, the purchaser can receive extra offers in the form of email coupons. Specific special offers can only be accessible to those who go through the website of a company or those who normally respond to television ads.
Direct marketing permits one to communicate with the target consumers personally or through groups, and have a better prospect with sales conversations as compared to communicating with a crowd target.
It allows one to measure the efforts ad client’s behavior immediately since one gets to see every response personally and come up with necessary alterations to create a long term impact.
Direct marketing offers an opportunity to create a lasting relationship with the clients. Significant conversations allow one to find the needs and fill it to make businesses more flourishing.
Growth of direct marketing has been facilitated by advancement in database technology and the influence of new communications pulls influences, new online linkages, and the improved customer push influences such as customer confidence, dynamic demographics, relationships and contacts, extra precise targeting and the rising media and sales (Kotler 88).
Database marketing concentrates on an individual customer. The efforts of marketing are not focused to the average client characteristic but rather tailored to fit every definite client. In the case of offer subscription to the PC magazine, this can mean tailoring the offer in accordance with the prospective age, financial position, purchasing habits and household conditions of a customer. Even though this can seem quite expensive and complex as compared to sending similar offer to all the targeted clients, the probability of getting new customers is high. The primary goal and benefits of using a complex database in direct marketing is the requirement for building a lasting one-to-one relationship between clients and marketers. Database marketing is based on the insight, which embraces the fact that a retained client is more advantageous than a client who has been newly solicited (Pattullo 67). Database can aid in designing individual relationships that suit the needs and wants of an individual customer. Frequently the sales made on this direct way, generates big profits as provisions and distributors, profit margins decrease. Database marketing enables a seller to use analysis, testing and modeling processes to identify the target customers. This can be used to cut down the marketing cost by downsizing efforts of marketing to the audience, which is most probably to respond.
Forms of direct marketing over time and with the advancement in technology, direct marketing has developed in a number of various dimensions
This form of direct marketing offers a forum for instant exchange. For instance, a sales person can listen to the client and react to the information transmitted. Product-linked information may be tailored to a person and then presented in a meaningful way. The selling tools used in face-to-face direct marketing entail sales presentations, trade show as well as door-to-door distribution.
Direct mail marketing is used by various companies since it is cheap to use. The marketing message used in direct-mail-marketing can be personalized to fit the interest of individual clients and permit for the distribution of samples of products, CD-ROM’s and complementary give-away to attract extra attention to the products. Effective post and electronic mail systems have made direct-mail-marketing famous to an extent where it is frequently regarded as nuisance (Power 145).
This is a marketing tool that uses telephone as a medium to reach clients. Marketers use telemarketing to reach clients to collect information, do a sales follow-up, or to avail goods and services direct to client.
This is the marketing that takes place through the internet. Marketers are offered by internet an interactive and reasonable medium of targeting clients with personalized web content.
Social media marketing is the process of expanding website traffic r attention via social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Whatssup (Thomas 214). Social media marketing programs normally center on efforts of creating contents, which draws attention and egg on readers to share with their social networks.
Setting up an Online Marketing Presence
Before setting up an online marketing presence, the company should have competent people with the required experience of setting up the online marketing presence. If the company specializes in particular areas of internet marketing, it should consider setting up a niche business. The following step is to market the business itself. The company is its own initial client so it should come up with a professional website utilizing SEO practice (Tambe 199).
Public Policy Issues in Direct Marketing
Issues of great concern among the public regarding direct marketing pertains privacy. Some companies have databases where their customers’ personal information is stored. The legality of this practice is doubted by many people, although such companies frequently protect themselves by including fine prints, which permits them to sell information (Kidd 78). This results to privacy concerns and fear of identity theft (Kennedy 102).
In direct marketing customers are not able to physically touch or inspect items for quality purposes hence the chances of deception are extremely high.
Direct marketing companies will frequently use gimmicks to attract potential clients. These gimmicks may be used in favor or the employees f these companies at an expense of customers.
Direct marketing is vital for the success of most companies since it helps companies to remain at a competitive edge over its rivals. Every company should determine the type of direct marketing that favors its marketing productivity before deciding on the direct marketing method to use.
Future and recommendations of direct marketing
Technological advancements which are being evidenced in the current marketing fields’ plays a major role in advancement of direct marketing. Companies should use the most appropriate technology to do direct marketing if it has to expand its client base. It should use social media marketing considering most people have become addicted to social media and if marketing is done through direct marketing then the customer-base of a company will increase (Bird 60). To ensure that it retains its customers, the company should ensure that it avails all the information that a customer is supposed to know regarding a particular product. This will build customers’ confidence in the products of the company.
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