An interest rousing advertisement in the press entices you to dial a toll free number for more information on a great looking proposition. You find it hard to hold your curiosity and go ahead with making a call. At the other end, you hear a friendly voice who, with cultured interactive skills convincingly enumerates the virtues of the offer, impressing on you that it was customized by their firm to fulfill critical user needs. And the telemarketing executive would further point out reasons for you to consider the offer, laced with some never-before value appeals. At the end of briefing, you are reasonably impressed and convinced on the worth of an exploration on the offer and you respond to the stimuli for an interface with the firm's executive at your convenience. This is a typical case of direct marketing process in action.
In simple words, direct marketing is any contact your business makes with existing or potential customers in order to generate sales or to raise awareness. Those who are in business, at some stage of promoting the trade, engage into the act of direct marketing, whether business to business or business to consumer, the usefulness of direct marketing has proved unquestionably. In today's competitive scenario, even the traditional multi channel marketers of FMCG products have laid adequate emphasis on direct, one to one contacts with the prospects, either for retaining high value customers or to use the process for widely energizing trials from non users of the brand. The secret of success lies in understanding the nuances of this delicate exercise and the imagination and grit to make the process work for the enterprise.
The following example of Domino's will give you an idea about how to successfully use direct marketing:
Domino's entered the developing country market only post 1996. But they have been extremely successful by using direct marketing effectively. Domino's, have used the direct marketing strategy to reach out to customers. Their advertisements initially showed the telephone numbers of their different outlets and promised to deliver hot fresh pizzas at customer's doorstep in 30 minutes. Today there are several food chains, consumer product companies and service organizations that are using the direct marketing strategy for effectively reaching out to their customers. Direct marketing is gaining importance, especially in urban markets and has emerged as an alternative form of marketing. Brands like the orange cellular phone services have been built through an effective use of direct marketing tools.
[...] Emergence of specialized database firms: Another key factor in the success of direct marketing is the evolution of specialized database firms. It is an expensive proposition in terms of both money and time to create a customer database. This makes direct marketing feasible only for large firms. A very large component of the economy consists of the small and medium sized firms who cannot afford to create this database. Hence, emergence and evolution of firms specialized in database management will contribution to the success of direct marketing Intermediaries getting stronger: Several firms such as those in the publishing business are now increasingly opting for direct marketing to reduce their costs of distribution. [...]
[...] A customer's ultimate value is not revealed by a purchase response to a particular mailing but by the expected profit made on all future purchases, net of acquisition and maintenance costs DIRECT RESPONSE MARKETING Direct marketers use all the major media to make direct offers to potential buyers. Newspapers and magazines carry abundant print ads offering books, articles of clothing, appliances, vacations, and other goods and services that individuals can order by dialing a toll-free number. Radio ads present offers to listeners 24 hours a day. [...]
[...] Thus effectively using direct marketing along with offering superior products, the company is able to gain success everywhere it operates. In an environment of unreliable and low direct-marketed products, Amway is able to dominate the world of direct selling by fighting the fears of buyers with resolute marketing communications aimed at changing customer's perceptions backed by company's global credibility and quality assurance standards. Even in a sensitive, thrift market like, the company never engaged in sensationalizing to leverage sales, as many entrants do with freebies or slashing prices. [...]
[...] To avoid this intermediary trap and reach out to the customer, companies use the direct marketing route. Advantages of direct marketing Direct marketing offers numerous benefits both to customers and to sellers Advantages to customers 1. Convenience: Direct marketing is very convenient, fun and hassle-free. It saves time and introduces consumers to a larger selection of merchandise. They can do comparative shopping by browsing through mail catalogs and online shopping services. Also this form of marketing goods or services directly to consumers takes place: at the customer's convenience often in his/her home either on a one-to-one basis, or in the context of a sales party Cost benefits: Almost all the companies using direct marketing passes on the cost benefits to customers received by them by elimination of intermediaries in delivering goods to customers. [...]
[...] When you begin considering a direct marketing campaign, you have to decide what it is that you want to sell. Are you selling a product? If so, you need to be able to answer these questions: i. How would I describe this product to someone who has never seen anything like it? ii. How is the product different from others like it? (Is it of higher quality? Lower price? etc.) iii. Why should someone buy it from me instead of buying it from somewhere else? [...]
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