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What Is Direct Marketing?



Direct marketing is the practice of reaching out to an individual customer.

In today’s fast-paced, multimedia world, the term direct marketing has grown to encompass several dozen different ways of reaching out to an individual customer. These include everything from telemarketing and an expensive, glossy product catalog in the mail to permission-based email marketing and product suggestions based on a person’s archived history of online shopping.

More than ever, direct marketing is a form of advertising driven by powerful databases containing detailed customer profiles. Each time someone agrees to a privacy policy online, often without reading it, they allow these databases to cull that much more information about online surfing and shopping habits. That information is in turn used to determine which products and services will be directly pitched to a particular recipient.

Marketing Based on Past Purchases

One company that has made great use of direct marketing over the years is the maker of Range Rover and Land Rover luxury SUVs. For example, by inviting past and present owners to exclusive luxury events centered on the launch of next year’s model, the company was able to achieve enviable customer conversion rates.

Now There’s an Interesting Marketing Pitch

Another direct marketing campaign in Belgium on behalf of Dodge was a recipient of a prestigious 2010 Cagles Award and proves that humor can be an integral part of such successes. Centered on the tag line “Baby made on board”, the direct marketing campaign used stickers, emails and other methods to get people to literally test drive the back seat of a Dodge Journey. By means of a baby, born March 10, 2010, one lucky couple merited a brand new car courtesy of this extremely unusual promotion.



University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Christopher Newport University
Revisiting the Conceptual Definition of Direct Marketing

Direct Magazine
Direct Mail Invitations Drive Buyers to Land Rover Events

Direct Marketing News
2010 Caples Awards Winners

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