Direct Marketing and Relationships: An Opinion Piece

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Author: Sally Harridge-March
Title: Direct marketing and relationships; An opinion piece
Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing
2008. Vol. 2, Iss. 4, Page 192
This article describes the basic concepts of direct marketing and relationship marketing, and then analyzes how the two can be used simultaneously for maximum effect.
Direct marketing has a long history, traceable to organizations selling their products via catalogs and mail order. Relationship marketing was first described in a 1983 paper, and says that “marketers should move away from transactional marketing and build longer term relationships with their customers.”

The author argues that the most efficient and successful marketers utilize a combination of the two methods described. Further, the principles of each method can be used to enhance the other method. For example, direct marketing can be used as a tool to facilitate the exchange of information that leads to effectual relationship marketing. Conversely, a company can use the knowledge gained from successful relationship marketing, such as what works and what doesn’t work within a marketing campaign, to develop a more effective direct marketing effort. Application

The first company I thought of while reading this article was Amazon. Their methods of marketing to new and existing customers clearly use a combination of direct and relationship marketing. Their relationship marketing is evident from their effective use of e-mail advertisements to returning customers. From my own experience, they do a good job of recommending products that make sense based on previous purchases and search history. They also use direct marketing with their advertisements to new customers, which are prominent all over the internet. Amazon’s combination of direct marketing, which helps obtain new customers, and relationship marketing, which helps keep them, is a great example of the successful implementation of the methods...
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