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Direct Marketing: Broader, More Impactful Than Thought

April 23, 2015
By Laura Stotler - Telemarketing Software Contributing Editor

The term “direct marketing” is not a pleasant phrase for many, particularly consumers. It’s a concept that can conjure up all kinds of perceived nuisances, from junk mail and email spam to pesky door-to-door salespeople. But direct marketing has evolved along with technology and it has a very real and undeniable impact.

Just how important is direct marketing? According to Winterberry Group, direct and digital marketing expenditures were set to increase around 5.5 percent last year, with spending on digital advertising reaching $50.6 billion. That’s a nice little chunk of change and eMarketer (News - Alert) research shows there are several important trends spanning a variety of industries leading to spending growth.

For instance, the travel industry relies heavily on direct response marketing, with companies like Expedia (News - Alert) and Priceline dominating the market. Conversely, markets like CPG and consumer products only spend a tiny percentage of their advertising budgets on digital channels, preferring to invest more heavily in branding.

Social media has had a significant impact on direct marketing spending, and marketers have had to learn how to use online tools to achieve their goals. The internet has played a giant role in connecting buyers and sellers without the need for face-to-face meetings or tangible merchandise, often achieving what telemarketing cannot due to multimedia and collaboration tools.

Of course, telemarketing and direct mail still have their places in the larger direct marketing arena, depending on the types of products and services being offered. Similarly, direct response advertising still has a prominent place in radio and television, even if they Internet is eating up an increasing percentage of direct response ad budgets.

Direct marketing comes down to marketers improving their measurement and attribution skills and getting better at using the Internet and mobility to achieve their goals. As marketers grow more technologically savvy, they understand the value of blending traditional direct marketing approaches with newer technologies to reach their intended audiences and get the biggest impact for their advertising budgets.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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