What is Direct Marketing?
Is a type of marketing whereby the marketer makes direct contact with customers and prospective buyers to promote their goods and services.
You may be wondering how this differs from other types of marketing, as an example, in digital marketing you may use a variety of campaigns to connect with people such as social media and website advertisement banners. These are indirect activities because they don’t focus on sending messages directly to a group or individual but rather being seen by larger groups of people in the hope that those interested will engage.
Direct marketing uses tools to contact the customer or prospect directly with their message. Examples of this can include an email campaign, a product brochure sent to the prospects address or a phone call.
For direct marketing to happen the marketer will need some personal information to be able to target you with a campaign, usually your email, address or phone number.
They gather this information by having either collected it directly from you (via an indirect campaign) or by purchasing it from a third party data company.
Data is something you will hear mentioned a lot in direct marketing especially with email and web based campaigns. Data basically describes all of the information you have about customers and prospective buyers, this is kept in a database also called a CRM (customer relationship management).
The more information you collect and update about your prospects, the easier it is to build specific campaigns and the higher a return you get from your ‘data’.
What does Direct Marketing Involve?
One of the benefits of direct marketing is that you can target specific types of customer and prospects which enables the marketer to build a more personalised campaign, this often drives a higher response.
Amazon have championed direct marketing using email campaigns, they do this by using your existing purchase information to make further suggestions as to items you may wish to buy. If you we’re to buy a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, this would then trigger an email suggesting more titles from the Harry Potter series.
Segmenting data: the marketing database, often called a CRM is the driving force behind direct marketing campaigns. Businesses analyse the data they hold about customer and prospects to make decisions on who to target and with what messages.
Analysing results: after the campaign has been sent out its then going to be analysed to see check for stuff like; number of people who responded, number of clicks through to the website, number of sales, number of subscribers etc. Analysing these results can then help direct marketers make decisions on how to improve their campaigns.
A/B testing your campaign, this is where the direct marketer will run two or more different styles of email campaigns and send them to small but equal chunks of the data to see which one has the best response, then they use the most successful campaign one to target the remainder of the data.
The most common examples of direct marketing include;
- Email campaigns
- Direct mail
- Interactive display ads
- social media
- Mobile – text messaging and push notifications
- Coupons and vouchers
- Direct selling / Telemarketing
What skills do I need to work in Direct Marketing?
Data focussed: data is at the core of direct marketing and is what drives all of the campaigns. You will need to be analytical to move campaigns forward successfully.
Data management : management of the database and data is important in getting the right results, you will need to acquire new leads and data either through the website or by purchasing it. Cleansing data is also necessary to ensure your data is relevant. No one likes a messy database!
Strong IT skills are important to careers in direct marketing. You need to be able be get to grips with different software fairly quickly, you will be using a CRM system to manage the data and an email marketing system like mail chimp to send the campaigns. Knowledge of HTML is useful and Photoshop is handy for creating email campaigns and graphics.
Creativity is important in direct marketing as you will often be trying to rehash the same message but in a different way, as well as coming up with new ideas so that you can keep your database engaged.
Good literacy as you may be writing copy and content for your campaigns.
If you are someone who enjoys being driven by targets and exceeding results then direct marketing is a great career to be in, you should be constantly striving to improve results and maximise responses.
Do I need qualifications?
Many employers look for a combinations of experience and qualifications but you don’t necessarily need a qualification in marketing to get the job if you have the right experience.
Most employers will be looking for some experience using a CRM system or customer database, email marketing software such as mail chimp or dotamiler to create and send campaigns.
There are lots of online resources about email marketing and direct marketing and you could even sign up to mail chimp to get some practise creating campaigns.
Doing a qualification is a great way to develop your knowledge about marketing and specific subjects that apply to roles within marketing.
Take a look at our routes into marketing page, you can find out how to get straight into marketing without a degree or see other options about qualifications.
What is the salary range like for jobs in Direct Marketing?
Generally we find specific direct marketing roles are paid a little less than general marking comms and digital marketing roles, this is because they focus solely on the direct marketing components making it a more specialised role with less responsibility for the general marketing activity.
Direct Marketing Assistants and Campaign Assistants can expect to earn around £18000-£20000
Direct Marketing Executives and Email Marketing Executives can expect to earn around £21,000 at the lower end of the scale, with the average around £25,000 and the top end reaching up to £30,000.
Campaign Managers can expect to earn around £27000,000-£30,000 at the lower end of the scale, with more experienced managers paid £40,000+
CRM Managers can expect to earn around £35,000-£50,000