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What is direct marketing?

All advertising activities aimed at directly addressing potential customers are referred to as direct marketing. In this context, products, services or information are offered directly to certain target groups and the responses are recorded for further processing

  • Is initially a direct and one-step communication
  • Takes place between suppliers and consumers or households
  • Enables collection and evaluation of marketing-relevant data
  • Can initiate a multi-level individual dialogue
  • Is a good opportunity for testing and customer selection

What is direct marketing about?

An immediate sales conclusion is usually not the goal in direct marketing. Rather, the aim is to establish long-term customer loyalty. In the course of this, the advertising company can build up more and more knowledge about its consumers and adapt its services and products individually. Potential customers or target groups are addressed directly via various advertising activities and specific reactions are generated. After the initial contact, the target group is further processed after an immediate measurement by the consumers response (direct response). In the further course of the customer relationship, further individualized direct marketing instruments are used and more and more data is collected. This gives the company a comprehensive picture of its potential customers, including preferences, interests and socio-economic data. Direct marketing is thus a targeted and measurable way of addressing the consuming public without any detours, which serves to establish and expand longer-term customer relationships. Direct marketing is also a cost-effective way for providers to collect the most varied and diverse information about their customers. In addition to gaining new customers, the objective of direct marketing is above all to support existing customers. Communication takes place either in the form of written or personal contacts (sales representatives). However, there are limits to direct marketing for reasons of consumer and data protection. The high growth rates in direct marketing can be explained by the increasing intensity of competition, the information overload of customers and the constant development of new communication technologies. If the consumer is merely made aware of the range of services offered by a company, this is called passive direct marketing

What does direct marketing involve?

Direct marketing can be subdivided into three parts: direct mail, direct response marketing and database marketing. Direct advertising is the medial form of addressing customers via advertising letters, e-mails, brochures, etc. channels that are delivered directly to potential customers (possibly only regionally). In direct response marketing, the instruments of direct advertising are upgraded, for example, by inserts such as coupons, which enable the customer to respond. The customer relationship can then be strengthened even further. Database marketing comprises the measures required to build up and maintain customer data or databases in preparation for the subsequent personalized responses. It is precisely through this area that companies get to know their customers or households better and better. Of course, direct marketing has both advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is the direct measurability of the success of marketing activities. This can be, for example, the number of responses to the direct mailing. Another advantage is the reduction of possible wastage, for example in television advertising or similar. The marketing budget is simply used more efficiently because there is a targeted selection and approach, and ultimately companies can increase customer loyalty. A notable disadvantage of direct marketing is that the associated marketing activities are often perceived by recipients as intrusive and disruptive, which understandably makes this form of marketing less attractive. This in turn can damage the companys image

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