Direct Marketing

Direct Marketing is a part of marketing that’s been used for marketing promotions with focused messages to the target audience. Unlike other marketing efforts, it is possible to track and measure the results irrespective of any medium. For example, a set of 1,00,000 invitations cards has been sent to the prospects and 10,000 has responded to it, the rate of response is 10% for this direct marketing effort.

In 1961, ‘Lester Wunderman’ has popularized ‘Direct Marketing’ concepts with the brands such as American Express and Columbia Records.

Direct marketing - Approaches

Direct marketers use different kind of approaches to reach their target audiences such as catalogs, postcards, statement inserts, magazines, door hangers, package inserts, newspapers, radio, television, email, internet banner ads, pay-per-click ads, billboards, etc., which will ask the prospects to act upon a specific request like:-

  • Visiting a website
  • Place an immediate order
  • Completing surveys
  • Returning a discount cards etc.

Direct marketing -Types

Broadly, there are four types of direct marketing including

Broadcast E-Mail:

Broadcast E-Mail has been used to send text or web page advertisements as a part of marketing promotions to a selected list of prospect’s e-mail addresses. It is the Internet's version of direct marketing. It has two types namely:


The prospects have given prior permission to have e-mails sent to their e-mail addresses


E-Mails addresses are generated from a database of new contacts and been sent without any prior permission.

Broadcast Fax:

Its used to send an unsolicited advertisement via telephone facsimile.


It is a form of direct marketing in which the telephone is used as an interactive medium for promotion and sales to the prospects. There are two types of telemarketing:


The company makes calls to the customer as a part of direct marketing

Inbound calls:

The customer makes the calls to the company to resolves issues, register a complaint, a general enquiry etc.,

Direct Mail:

It is the most commonly used medium in direct marketing in which marketing communication has been sent to the selected prospects using postal service available in a particular country.

It helps the marketers to design different formats to deliver an eye–catching communication to the customers using specialized materials available for direct mail marketing. There are different formats like catalogs, self-mailers, postcards, poly-bags, envelope mailers etc.,

Five principles of Direct Marketing

The five principles of direct marketing including:

The customer is always right

Customer service is a vital aspect of any successful marketing. With an effective customer service, customer will be acting as our mentor and guide to develop our business in a right way. ‘Direct Marketing’ uses customer database to create positive customer dialogues and in turn results in repeat sales.

Listening to the customers

To be successful in any business, listening to the customers is a prerequisite factor. It really helps us to gauge our performance and service delivery in the customer’s mind and logically give us a long-term direction.

Customer acquisition

As a direct marketer, it is vital to create and maintain a proper customer database to track all relevant information being required to sell the products or services using an advertising medium to the prospects and also to build a long – term relationship with the growing customer base for repeat purchases or sales.

Trustworthy’ factors

Create a service delivery platform to reflect your credibility always with the customers and losing it, will have a great impact on the sales.

Direct communication

A mantra to any marketing success is creating a platform to have a positive and direct communication with your customer. This communication helps us to keep on improving our service levels matching to their expectations. It results in making them to buy our products or services several times. It also helps us to track their buying preferences and measure those results also in future.

Case Study – Land Rover’s Direct Marketing Initiative:


Land Rover has been successful carmaker in 4*4 market. Its main strategy is to attract ordinary car owners to switch to its 4*4 car models rather than focusing on the owners of the competitive 4*4 car owners.


Land Rover would like to convince the owners (age group 0f 30-40 years with children) of ordinary cars to own a 4*4 model that will create more fun, while driving and also a suitable choice to meet their needs. Due to radical barriers in this market, it has been facing a problem to create a communication impact in this market.


  • In order to reach out to the above segment, a creative marketing plan has been introduced to deliver a positive communication to the target audience that 4*4 is easy to afford and easy to drive with fun and freedom.
  • The plan comprises of managing the prospects from awareness stage through test drive to sale with the help of inserts, direct mail and Internet as a medium to determine their needs
  • Through this direct marketing medium, high quality leads are receiving half a day or 24 hrs test drive and later follow- up communication are then matched to their buying behavior resulting in a cost effective sale.
  • Direct marketing has proved to be a highly effective medium in changing the mindsets of the consumers and also encouraging them to test drive and own a 4*4 model in future.
  • In the year 1999, Land Rover has spent about £1.6 million and direct marketing efforts have resulted in sales revenue of £115 million.