Direct Marketing in B2B
One of the things that makes direct marketing and demand generation such powerful tools for today's B2B marketers is the ability to measure outcomes. Direct marketing is a collection of techniques that enables organisations to market goods and services directly to customers (business-to-customers or B2C). Rather than the marketing firm sending out a general communication or sales message to a large group of potential customers, even if these constitute a well-defined market segment, direct marketing tends to target specific individuals or households. In a business-to-business (B2B) context this would be an individual or a specific organisation or firm. Direct marketing is not just concerned with marketing communications. It is also concerned with distribution. Business-to-business, or b2b direct marketing, requires a different mindset and strategies than marketing directed to consumers. In b2b sales, one business is providing products and services to another business. This could be as simple as a print shop designing and printing company letterhead or as complex as a highly sophisticated software application designed and marketed to nuclear physics research and development firms. Direct marketing comes in a variety of forms. It is one of the fastest growing areas of marketing and is being propelled by technical advances, particularly in the field of computer technology and the www. Abstract
Direct marketing is broadly defined as any direct communication to a consumer or business recipient that is designed to generate a response in the form of a direct order, a request for further information (lead generation), or a visit to a store or other place of business for the purchase of a specific product or service (traffic generation). Direct marketing should not be used as a mere tactical marketing communications tool, but should be integrated with the rest of the communications mix. Much direct marketing activity is intended to result in a sale. However, in some situations a direct sale might be unlikely or inappropriate. In such cases some other form of measurable response might be used. direct marketing is not necessarily the same as direct sales. It might be used to keep customers informed of new product developments or to send them specific discount offers. Direct marketing originated in the early 1900s and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) was established in the USA in 1917. Direct marketing became an important force in the UK in the 1950s, but at this stage of its development it was generally concerned with direct mail, mail order and door-to-door personal selling. Today the scope of direct marketing has expanded dramatically largely due to the use of the telephone and in particular the use of the Internet. Direct marketing includes all marketing communications elements that allow an organisation to communicate directly with a prospect. This includes direct mail, telephone marketing, direct response advertising, door-to-door personal selling and the Internet. Telephone marketing
The telephone has been used for B2B sales for a long time particularly for the regeneration of ‘routine’ orders and for making sales appointments. It is now being used increasingly in domestic direct marketing programmes often to ‘follow up’ a posted personalised mail shot. However, as already mentioned, direct marketing has evolved with the advances in computer technology. The use of computers to store, retrieve and manipulate customer information has revolutionised the way direct marketing firms operate. Direct marketing firms can make use of the Internet and computer databases which allows them to access data ‘warehouses’ and gives them the capability to sort and aggregate or ‘fuse’ data to increase its value as a marketing resource. Telephone marketing has been used as a direct marketing tool for many years, although mainly in B2B situations....