Direct response advertising - Marketing Management

This is a strategy of using specially designed advertisements, usually in newspapers and magazines, to invoke a direct response rather than a delayed one. The most familiar type is the coupon-response press advertisement, in which a coupon is provided that the reader may use to order the product or service or request further information or a sales call. Other variants involve incentives to visit the retail outlet immediately, such as preview invitations and money-off coupons. Direct mail can also be used for direct response advertising.

Improvements in database software have revolutionized the direct marketing industry. Nothing has driven the direct marketing industry forward more than IT developments, especially in database software and applications. Database marketing is a system that continually gathers, refines and utilizes information and data that drives relevant marketing and sales communications programmes. It is used extensively, but not exclusively, in direct marketing. Examples are sales calls, direct mail and advertising to selected companies to acquire new customers, retain customers, generate more business from existing customers and create long-term loyalty. The Internet, e-commerce, rising costs of direct marketing and more emphasis on customer retention over customer acquisition are only a few salient factors affecting the way firms carry out business today.

Firms have to move quickly and keep up with the latest developments and trends and invest in appropriate software and systems to stay ahead of the competition.

Database marketing describes a way of organizing a company’s total marketing and sales processes. It is broad and can impact through market research and product development to customer service.

Accurate information about customers that is readily available can transform marketing. It allows you to take information you have in your customer databases, analyse it to find patterns like purchasing associations and relationships, and use information that has been gained to produce and instigate better marketing and sales programmes. This means targeting specific groups with specific messages about products that are important to them. This means more resources can be spent on prospects that are most likely to buy, increasing the return on marketing and sales investment. Proper use of databases gives marketing better tools through which to operate and improves the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, allowing for the more effective allocation and utilization of marketing resources. Database marketing is sometimes referred to as precision marketing and directing a marketing programme from a well constructed and managed database is analogous to shooting a rifle at a target using a precision telescopic sight rather than a conventional sight. Developments in database marketing have done more to drive the direct marketing industry forward than any other development.

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