What is Direct Marketing?
An early definition by Bauer & Miglautsch, USA, 1989:
“Direct marketing is a cybernetic relational process which uses direct response advertising in prospecting conversion and maintenance (of relationships)”
Not a particularly good definition as the terms used are overly complex:
Prospecting means identifying likely buyers.
Conversion is the process of turning them in to customers.
Maintenance is about keeping them.
Cybernetic means self adjusting.
But let’s take a step back and firstly outline what Marketing is:
Peter Drucker states:
“The purpose of marketing is to make selling superfluous… to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits, and sells itself.”
So how does this tie in with Direct Marketing?
Graeme McCorkell states:
“Direct marketing is the process in which responses and transactions of individuals are recorded… and the data used to inform targeting, execution and control of actions… that are designed to start, develop and prolong profitable customer relationships.”
The IDM summarise this as:
“The planned recording, analysis and tracking of individual customers responses and transactions for the purpose of developing and prolonging mutually profitable customer relationships.”
So to conclude..
Direct Marketing focuses on individual customers
It uses individual customer data to communicate with customers on a personal basis and to group them according to their individual behavior and characteristics.
What is Direct and Digital Marketing?
Applying digital media; Web, Email, Mobile, Digital TV.
To contribute to marketing activities aimed at achieving profitable acquisition and retention of customers…
Within a multi-channel buy process and customer lifecycle…
Through developing a planned approach to improve customer knowledge…
Then deliver integrated targeted communications and online services that match their individual needs.
In simpler terms, it’s direct marketing through digital media.
It’s critical that digital media be integrated with offline media and the needs of the customer shape which communication is used. It can only be through data mining and customer research that their behavior, needs, values and characteristics be identified. Through this online media can be tailored and personalized to deliver a customer centric communication.
As a direct marketing coordinator there are 4 competencies that are pivotal to the success of digital marketing:
An understanding of how to manage interactions and sustain relationships with customers.
Gathering, recording, analyzing and acting upon customer and transactional data are to drive marketing programmes.
A proven aptitude towards applying information and communication technology.