Direct marketing is a type of marketing where the company directly reaches out to the consumer. It can be achieved through email, phone calls, in-person visits, and social media. Advertising is a form of marketing that spreads information about products or services to the general public.

Direct marketing or advertising? While advertising products can be very effective, this can be costly too. Direct marketing is somehow a more affordable approach and is as effective as advertising. In this post, let’s delve into direct marketing and its forms.

Direct marketing vs advertising

Direct Marketing: Direct marketing can be more valuable for small businesses because it allows them to avoid middlemen and offers more personal interactions with their customers. It also allows for an opportunity for consumers to become advocates for your company and share their experiences with friends and family.

Advertising: Advertising can be more effective because it offers a larger audience reach than direct marketing while still allowing consumers to interact with your company on a personal level.

What is direct marketing?

Direct marketing is the promotion of products or services by approaching potential customers directly and personally. This is also known as “dialogue marketing” as the company engages in a direct conversation with the customers. You use direct marketing to gain insight into the behavior, wishes, and needs of your customers. You can then use this information to provide them with an even better service and to respond more easily to customer questions. Direct marketing also includes advertisements in magazines, newspapers, on the radio, etc. The way in which you can apply direct marketing as a company depends on the information you have about your target group.

The idea behind direct marketing is to encourage (potential) customers to take action. After all, you want them to buy your product, visit a website, or call a phone number. Due to the fact that you provoke a reaction from the customer, the effect of a direct marketing campaign is easily measurable.

Read this also: Tips for a Successful Small Business

Direct marketing: what forms are there?

Direct marketing, therefore, takes different forms. Each shape has its pros and cons, of course. what form of marketing is interesting mainly depends on the target group that has to be reached. Some important forms of direct marketing are:

  • Personal selling
    Here there is direct contact between the seller and the (potential) customer. This is a good way to build personal relationships. However, this form is a lot more expensive, since it takes a lot of man-hours.
  • Telemarketing
    Products or services are sold over the telephone. Here the costs, unlike in-person selling, are much lower. Many more potential customers can be approached in a short time. With inbound telemarketing, where the customer calls the salesperson, the effect is often greater than with outbound marketing (the salesperson calls the customer), as this is usually experienced as disruptive.
  • Email Marketing
    Email marketing sends an email to potential customers and can serve several purposes. They will try to convince the recipient to buy something right away. Building a long-term relationship can also be the goal of email marketing. With this form, a large group is reached at the same time at a low cost. A disadvantage of this is that these emails can quickly end up in the spam inbox.
  • Online marketing
    This form is used to draw attention to products or services through the Internet. Think of search engine marketing (SEA), social media marketing, affiliate marketing, and advertising with banners on various websites. With internet marketing, you can approach a very specific target group at a fairly low price.
  • Catalogusmarketing
    This is one of the oldest forms of direct marketing. A catalog is sent to the customer. The customer then reads the catalog and places an order. Even though this form is very old-fashioned, it is still a very effective way of direct marketing.

Direct Marketing Trends in the Past Year

Direct marketing has many important trends. In 2019, 20% of all searches were done through voice search. The expectation of the use of voice search in 2021 is 50%. Therefore, voice search marketing is a relevant trend in direct marketing. In addition to voice search, omnichannel marketing is a fairly emerging form of direct marketing. This is the coordination of different sales channels so that the brand experience for the customer remains the same. The collection of data in direct marketing is also increasingly being used in direct marketing and direct marketing can be optimized. As a final trend, direct mail (email marketing) is a lasting and effective way to reach (potential) customers.