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Direct and to the point

This month marks the final promotional tool we will be reviewing - Direct Marketing.

In addition to direct mail, direct marketing also refers to things such as catalogs, kiosks, online marketing (including email), mobile marketing and more.

There are 3 main characteristics of direct marketing.

1. It can be easily tailored - messages can be directed to a specific person or a small group of people. This helps cut down on wasted coverage costs. For example, sending out an email telling customers about a sale on diabetic supplies.

2. It can be immediate and customized - messages can be prepared very quickly and can be tailored to appeal to specific customers. An example would be, sending out an letter to customers informing them of a change in their insurance coverage.

3. It can be interactive - it allows a dialogue between you and your customers. The best example of this is going to events, such as health fairs, sponsored walks/runs, and focusing on the one-on-one interaction with potential customers.

A disadvantage of direct marketing is the fact that it is unsolicited advertising, which some customers don't appreciate and respond negatively to. This problem is especially large if direct marketing is overdone (becomes spam or junk mail received on a daily basis). Direct mail can also be more costly than other forms of advertising - depending on the medium.

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