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This marketing video explains what is direct marketing and its benefits compared to other forms of marketing.
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Direct marketing is a kind of advertisement that allows marketers or business owners to promote directly their products to potential customers. This direct communication can be done face to face, sms, mailing, email, telephone, and other channels that allow the business to communicate with potential customers individually.
Its history goes back to 1872 when Mr. Aaron Montgomery Ward, a Chicago based business man that made a fortune by selling products to rural customers through mail ordering.
The big advantage of direct marketing is that it can be personalized and its results can be measured. In order to create successful direct and personalized marketing campaigns you need to have, create, or buy a good potential customers database. The better and more detailed information about your potential customers your database has, the better results you will achieve in your direct marketing campaign.
Ex: If your campaign is to attract runners to participate in the race you are organizing, and if you will have a full marathon, half marathon, and 10 kilometer races possibilities for the participants, it was great if your customers database had data on which ones of the potential customers usually participates in a full marathon, which usually goes for the half, and what prefer a not so longer race and opt by the 10 kilometer option. This way you could segment your direct marketing campaign into three different campaigns: one targeting the 10 kilometer, other the half marathon, and the last one targeting the people that most probably will opt for the full marathon.
So after you have contacted your potential customers, the next thing you need to do it is to measure its response rate. The response rate is the percentage of people who actually took action and followed your suggestion to buy, participate, visit, or whatever was your main goal for creating the direct marketing campaign. At the previous run race example if you have contacted 1,000 people to participate on the marathon race and 100 of them actually registered, you would get a 10% response rate.
If your brand is not strong yet, direct marketing is a great way to get results/ sales. As you contact the potential customers directly you have the opportunity to explain them your unique selling proposition and why they should choose your products. This will not happen if you use other marketing channels, as you will not have the opportunity to go into detail about your product strengths, and because you may face similar products with a well know brand next to your ads.