When you market your business, you can do it indirectly (i.e. via middlemen) or directly (i.e. direct communication with the target audience). Many modern-day businesses often combine direct and indirect methods to meet their marketing goals. In this article, we’ll focus firmly on direct marketing and discuss its definition, examples, and types. So if you want to educate yourself on direct marketing, read on.
Types of direct marketing and their examples
Direct marketing can be defined as a form of marketing that involves reaching out to target audiences directly. It’s in stark contrast to indirect marketing, which involves the participation of middlemen. For instance, if you use an influencer marketplace like Ainfluencer to promote your brand, you’re indirectly communicating with the target audience. In this scenario, the platform serves as the middleman. There are various types of direct marketing, which we’ll look at below, along with their examples.
Using text messages to contact target audiences is one of the most inexpensive forms of direct marketing. Push notifications are among the most common examples of telemarketing, and businesses use them to send alerts about the latest developments, offers, and more. As cell phone use around the world continues to grow, text marketing is set to stay as one of the most effective direct marketing methods. Some of the best text marketing practices include:
- Providing value
- Ensuring that the text content is crisp and concise
- Sending messages at the right moments
- Avoiding spamming
Ever since email became a part of the mainstream, email marketing has been employed by brands across the globe for promotions. The best thing about email marketing from a consumer standpoint is that audiences can choose whether they want to receive emails from a particular company. While businesses can use email marketing in a variety of ways, most rely on it for sending newsletters to target audiences. Businesses can also purchase verified consumer mailing lists and send promotional emails to the email addresses in those lists. Many businesses also promote their websites by including their links in their emails, following which they can use a visitor tracking tool to gauge how many visits the emails are generating.
Telemarketing involves communicating with audiences directly over phone calls. In recent years, automation has entered the telemarketing sector, allowing businesses to call a lot of people simultaneously. In terms of boosting marketing productivity, telemarketing is among the best types of direct marketing. Two examples of telemarketing include outbound and inbound calls. Outbound calls are also referred to as ‘cold calling’, and they involve companies placing direct calls to their customers. On the other hand, inbound calls are customer-initiated calls, which are typically initiated for providing feedback or registering complaints.
The direct selling method of direct marketing is undertaken by businesses by sending sales consultants to customers’ residences or workplaces. This method relies on in-person sales and requires consultants to possess a variety of soft skills for convincing and persuading customers to buy products. A common example of direct selling is employees of a business going on door-to-door sales campaigns in pre-selected areas or neighborhoods of a city. While direct selling isn’t as efficient as text, email, or telemarketing, it can do a better job at establishing personal connections with people.
A business can market its products and/or services in crowded public spaces as well – through kiosk marketing. Businesses that employ kiosk marketing typically sell products that can be provided to customers via vending machines. For instance, a soft-drink company can use a vending machine to sell its beverages to customers in a mall. The biggest advantage of kiosk marketing is that it’s relatively inexpensive and also allows businesses to engage in face-to-face interactions with customers. It’s also less stressful for the employees compared to direct selling as they don’t have to go door-to-door to promote and sell products.
Emails may be way more convenient to send compared to conventional mails. However, the latter still offers businesses a lot of advantages in terms of personalizing the marketing content based on customers’ tastes and preferences. It’s one of the most flexible direct marketing methods as well, as businesses can alter how many emails they’re sending out. Direct mail marketing campaigns typically consist of sending brochures, flyers, and/or letters to existing and prospective customers. Even though numerous technological advancements have emerged in recent decades, it’s hard to foresee direct mail marketing losing its importance in the future.
Last but not least, we have to talk about social media marketing, which has exploded over the last few years. Almost every modern-day business has profiles across multiple social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. On these platforms, businesses can build their followings and promote their products and/or services through carefully-curated content. Social media marketing can be incredibly efficient and effective at meeting the desired marketing goals. But its biggest advantage is that its effectiveness can be tracked. Social media marketers also use behavioral analytics tools like WatchThemLive to understand how their target audiences behave. This allows them to create marketing content that resonates with customers.
So, there you have it – 7 direct marketing methods that a business can experiment with for results. It’s not mandatory for businesses to employ all 7 methods to see success, but a combination of a few methods is recommended. Also, this list of direct marketing methods isn’t exhaustive. With time and more technological advancements, it’s quite likely for more methods to emerge.