November 17, 2009

Blog: Direct Marketing behold!

Last Friday, 13th November, Miss Lisa Watson, the president of Direct Marketing Association of Singapore enlightened us about direct marketing.

So what is Direct Marketing? Well it is basically an interactive marketing through media with measurable responses. Let’s take a McDonald’s coupon for example. It uses flyer as a media and it requires interaction when you use it. By passing it to the McStaffs and them counting how many coupons they received, they can measure the response. So there you go; a very simple example of direct marketing.

If I were to end here, you’ll probably never return to again right? Why not let me go deeper into the topic. Well let’s evolve it into Relationship Marketing.

What’s Relationship Marketing?

It’s basically an interactive marketing through media with measurable responses with your personal information in it. Hmmm, need more detailed explanation? Well if you have a magazine with you, flip to the subscription form. They are using the magazine as a media.

Let’s fill up the form. Guess whom you are now interacting with in the form? So up till this part, direct marketing is done, and your information will be added to the company’s database. With the information provided by you, the new customer, that now have the ability to send you updates of their latest products.

With the 2 points being clear, what about that measurable responses? Well, I’ll keep that for later, keeping you in suspense first. Why? It’s simple. I need to let you know about some important facts, before the last point becomes much more impactful.

In marketing world there is this quote by John Wanamaker “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.”

Are you getting a picture already? When companies put in marketing efforts, not all their efforts will yield results, and often they aren’t aware which of these are the ones. Therefore tracking is important so that we know which to invest and not invest in.

Now for the last point: How do they track?

Let’s take a look at the magazine, is there a serial number attached to it? If there is that’s tracking! From the serial number it can derive a couple of very important information about their marketing efforts, such as in which magazine does the subscription come from. If they go deeper into details they might even track to which area it came from. The company might want to test the market to see at what prices will consumers subscribe, and the serial number encodes it.

Now that Direct Marketing and Relationship Marketing have been explained, let me take you one level higher, into Database Marketing. Don’t worry; I’ll keep it short and simple, since the fundamental have been written.

Database Marketing basically is when your Relationship Marketing lands you with a lot of information. That’s seems like a whole lot of work to do right? But there’s always Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) to ease our load. CRM basically helps us optimize customer profitability.

After so much talk about this direct marketing stuff, don’t you wonder why do we need to do all these? The reasons are simple: We can use all these information to better manage marketing investments and customers. From generating sales leads to the sales team to sending the right message to the right customer.

Of course there’s one more reason, and that is that consumer power has increased significantly due to Information Technology. IT has evolved so quickly that information can be easily obtained by consumers and thus making them more POWERFUL! In this age, consumers are not king anymore… they are GOD!

And yes I’m referring to YOU!


  1. That was a insightful blog I learned a lot in a short time. I also have a website where I teach people how to communicate through direct marketing techniques because everyone can learn something new on how to communicate. If the info is useful or you may have ideas to make it better please let me know. Thank you.

  2. Thanks for the examples, related to Direct Marketing. Yes, direct Marketing is effective. One can directly interact with customers, and know about their needs and wants. Results are fast and measurable.
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