Business direct mail - Marketing Management

Business markets are made up of closely defined, discrete groups of individuals. These groups cannot be best reached by mass advertising. Direct mail can be used to accurately identify different market sectors and provide messages appropriate to each sector. Some of the more common uses are:

  • Product launch – Often the launch of a new industrial product or business service entails getting the message across to a small, but significant, number of people who will influence buying decisions e.g. catering managers and car fleet managers.
  • Sales lead generation – As in consumer markets, direct mail can effectively reach qualified sales leads for a company’s sales force.
  • Dealer support – Direct mail can keep dealers, retail outlets, franchise holders, etc. more fully informed of tactical marketing promotions and plans.
  • Conferences and exhibitions – These are means of communicating with potential customers and business colleagues. Direct mail can be used to invite delegates, who may be attracted if the event relates to a specific theme of direct interest to them.
  • Follow-up mailing using the customer base – Much business takes the form of repeat sales to existing customers. Since these are existing clients it can be worthwhile mailing them regularly, as long as the content of the mail-out relates to something that is new or of specific interest rather than simply being ‘junk mail’.
  • Marketing research/product testing – This type of direct mail is suitable both in a consumer and business context. Marketing research can be conducted amongst existing and potential customers.

Questionnaires can be used as part of a regular communication programme, with levels of response being increased by some kind of incentive. Small-scale test mailings can be made to sample a target market. The results can give a quick and accurate picture of market reaction, with minimum risk. An approach that is successful in a ‘test mailing’ can later be mailed to the full list.


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