What is Direct Marketing?

Direct marketing is the attempt to address selected people as directly as possible and motivate them towards concrete, preferably immediate action, generally to purchase a product.

Often, it is sufficient to determine potential customers that correspond to an existing product, and advertise the new product with these existing customers. Ideally, direct marketing attempts to respond as much as possible to the potential customer’s needs and wishes: Needless to say, this includes, first and foremost, made-to-order advertising. Individual or individualised products and services as well as individual prices and conditions are also a possibility. However, usually only the advertising is geared towards target groups. The products, services, prices and conditions, in contrast, are not further individualised.

Any form of direct marketing requires you to find out as much information as possible about the wishes and needs of your customers, and to record and analyse this information systematically. The purchase history of existing customers is a good source for this purpose, as well as inquiries from prospective customers or complaints. Therefore, a database containing as much detailed information as possible about customers and suitors is the best foundation for successful direct marketing. Only for the acquisition of new customers do you really have to resort to information from outside of your own company. You could also create your own surveys or raffle for this purpose. However, it is often easier to use addresses coming from an external provider’s database. You can read about where you can get addresses to acquire new customers in the article 'Where can I get addresses for my direct marketing campaign?'.

The article 'MS Publisher: Creating a brochure' tells you how to create a brochure for a direct marketing campaign. You can read about how to create the corresponding mail merge letter in the following articles: 'Word2007: Printing form letters' / 'Word2003: Printing form letters' / 'OpenOffice Writer: Printing form letters'.

Finally, you have to measure the success of your direct marketing campaign. You can read about how to do so in the article 'Determining the success of direct marketing campaigns'. Test advertising campaigns are also connected with the measuring of your success. You can read more about this in the article 'Test advertising campaigns with direct marketing'.

Author: Thomas Hainke