When you hear the word marketing, what comes to mind? For some it might be social media, for others it might the trifold brochure. According to Merriam-Webster, marketing is "the activities that are involved in making people aware of a company's products, making sure that the products are available to be bought, etc." One type of marketing is direct marketing.
Direct marketing is the interactive use of advertising media. It's designed to stimulate an immediate response. You know those email subscriptions you get? Direct marketing. And those credit card promotional mailers? Direct marketing. While some direct marketing might be annoying, it has quite a few benefits:
- It’s specific
- It talks to the individual
- It can be high impact
- It can be localized
- It can generate sales where there are no stores (mail order or online)
- It can help gather information for research
- Used to encourage trials of new products (samples and discount coupons)
- Delivers instant results
- Can be used as a part of an integrated marketing campaign
In order to successfully accomplish a direct marketing campaign, you need three essential things: The List, The Offer, and The Creative. The list is the contacts, the people you will be connecting with. A lot of advertisers say that a direct marketing campaign is only as good as its list. If your list doesn't have quality contacts, the campaign will not succeed. The offer is the promotion, the thing you want the target audience to participate with. Finally, the creative is how you're going to get the message across to your target market. Be clever, know your audience, and keep it simple. Too much flash will turn people off.
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