1 February 2023 1131 words, 5 min. read

Direct marketing: definition, advantages, and strategic objectives

By Pierre-Nicolas Schwab PhD in marketing, director of IntoTheMinds
Direct marketing aims at getting as close as possible to the customers. It solicits them to obtain immediate answers to a given situation. This process relies heavily on target marketing since its purpose is to deliver personalized messages. Its advantages […]

Direct marketing aims at getting as close as possible to the customers. It solicits them to obtain immediate answers to a given situation. This process relies heavily on target marketing since its purpose is to deliver personalized messages. Its advantages are diverse and varied, although they evolve essentially around its profitability and the loyalty it generates. Following our concept definition, you will find all the necessary information about its benefits. Finally, we will propose 3 strategic guidelines that will impact your business.

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What is direct marketing?

Direct marketing is part of the field of advertising. This practice consists in communicating in a personalized way to its marketing target. Its objective is clear: to obtain direct and clear answers from the customers. Ultimately, it is a cost-effective process that positively influences customer loyalty.

This strategy is unique. Its propensity to increase brand sales makes it stand out from the crowd. Direct marketing is frequently manifested through:

  • E-marketing
  • Telemarketing
  • Or even catalog marketing

Today, we often find this form of online marketing through CTAs (call-to-action). You certainly know them. Here are some examples:

  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Take advantage of our latest discount
  • Click here to learn more
  • etc.

In short, this type of marketing simplifies the communication of companies with their customers. The flow of information is more fluid. In the end, the relationship between customers and brands is closer. Indeed, this process quickly adapts to new forms of communication specific to marketing campaigns (Stone & Woodcock, 2014)

Direct marketing and its 3 main advantages

Let’s now focus on the benefits of direct marketing. Here, we focus on its 3 most tangible benefits:

  • Its cost-effectiveness
  • Its propensity to increase customer satisfaction
  • And its ability to attract more and more leads

It is a profitable practice

First, let’s remember that direct marketing pays more than it costs. This goes even further, and it does not only increase companies’ sales. It also promotes the growth of brands. This process is based on good targeting but also advanced data marketing. All of this together leads to optimizing marketing-related activities by the business structures.

It is better to understand your target audience to reach your customers better. Only then can the right message be delivered. Moreover, in the age of continuous development of digital social networks, the term “direct marketing” is to be put into perspective. Indeed, it is becoming more and more common to integrate this direct communication with its target audience. (Palmer & Koenig-Lewis, 2009)

It improves customer satisfaction and loyalty

Direct marketing is not effective for no reason. Not only is it beneficial for brands, but it also contributes to customer satisfaction and loyalty. The reason is very simple: this practice relies on a strong personalization of the marketing message to achieve its goals. In this sense, it could be called account-based marketing, given its propensity to get closer and closer to key customers. There are several ways to leverage market knowledge to convert prospects and build customer loyalty. Here are some examples:

  • Reward system: especially for your regular customers (loyalty programs, early access, promotions, and so on).
  • Brand image audit: what better way to improve your offer and embellish your e-reputation than with customer feedback?
  • Personalized e-mailing: an ideal way to quickly build strong links with prospects about to make a purchase

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Direct marketing simplifies lead generation

Finally, we would like to come back to another great advantage of direct marketing. We are talking about its compatibility with lead generation. Indeed, its numerous tools linked to data analysis or marketing automation simplify contact with leads. Thanks to this contribution, it becomes easier to:

  • Recognize the most effective communication channels
  • Create campaigns adapted to each market segment
  • And ultimately, to increase its customer conversion rate.

More concretely, companies save valuable time thanks to the following:

  • The automation of e-mailing campaigns
  • But also, the implementation of A/B testing (a very effective quantitative technique to directly measure the real behaviors of the audience).

Targeting and personalizing to convert its prospects is the main mission of direct marketing.

direct marketing strategy

The 3 pillars of a good direct marketing strategy

Very useful to acquire and secure a loyal clientele, but direct marketing has many applications. To establish the best strategy, we present below 3 relevant angles of attack:

  • Work well on its targeting
  • Use triggers wisely
  • Carry out a constant follow-up of its marketing performances

direct marketing strategy 1

Define your target marketing

It is only possible to engage in direct marketing with a correct target. For this reason, you will have to adapt your communication strategies according to the targeted customers. Moreover, this is the best way to avoid wasting time due to poor preparation.

As such, it is important to remember that direct marketing is aimed at customers who already know your brand. And it is possible to collect key information about this public. For example, you can gather their socio-demographic data or identify their interests. With this, you will have all the keys to produce content relevant to this target. Here is another good practice: publish regularly and on as many channels as possible to spread your name online. By the way, this will help you improve your natural referencing!

direct marketing strategy 2

Use trigger marketing

We also recommend you use trigger marketing as much as possible to boost the effects of direct marketing. This method has proven its worth with companies that are meticulous in their targeting. Its advantages are similar to direct marketing since it attracts customers as much as it retains customers. Moreover, it follows the customers within the marketing funnel to accompany them toward the purchase act.

Let’s take the case of the urgency trigger. This mental trigger pushes the user to decide quickly, which is effective in direct marketing. For example, the trigger could be a deadline to take advantage of a promotion, all pushed by very apparent call-to-actions.

direct marketing strategy 3

Set up key performance indicators

Finally, as with many marketing strategies, brands must set quantifiable objectives. And when you say objectives, you say performance indicators. Also known as “KPIs” (for “key indicator performance”), they are of paramount importance when it comes to monitoring the progress of your marketing objectives. Moreover, they provide much key information to perfect your next marketing moves.

These indicators must be operational as soon as your campaigns are launched. For your online business activities, Google Analytics remains the ABC of analysis. But there are other clever ways to determine the success of a campaign. For example, why not incorporate QR codes in your next e-mails? These allow you to assess which of your prospects and customers are the most advanced in the customer experience.

direct marketing

Posted in Marketing.

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