Direct marketing

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As direct marketing or direct marketing (also direct response advertising ) is referred to within the market communication of marketing any advertising measure that contains a direct approach to the potential customer with a request for a response. The next stage in marketing is direct sales .

Sub-areas of direct marketing

Direct mail

Direct mail is a simplified form of direct marketing. In contrast to general mass advertising, direct mail has a much higher target group security because, in contrast to z. B. for radio or television advertising is either personalized or delivered directly.

Dialog marketing (direct response marketing)

The aim of dialogue marketing is to identify a recipient as a potential buyer, so that he or she can express his interest in the company and react to the advertising message. In contrast to direct mail, in dialogue marketing (also known as direct response advertising) the opportunity to get in touch with the company is actively strengthened (response amplification). In practice, an advertising medium such as a mailing , e.g. B. by attachments, glued giveaways , by offering raffles or invitations to events. These advertising messages can also be reinforced e.g. B. by using particularly exclusive types of paper, cardboard or special colors. Accompanying measures, such as As a downstream SMS or your follow-mailing, are used to intensify the personal approach and the possibility of a response ( response ) to increase by a second advertising impetus to the recipient.

A particularly frequently used instrument in direct marketing is the call center . In a personal telephone call, the advertising company receives additional information about the customer and his preferences. In dialogue, customer questions can be dealt with, argued and convinced much better than e. B. in the simplex dialog of a mailing with a response section for the return. This can be seen in the significantly higher success rates compared to traditional mailings. On the other hand, the costs per contact are several times higher than those of a sales letter with simple features. However, high-quality mailings sometimes cost more than a phone call and are therefore only worthwhile with correspondingly high-priced goods.

Knowledge of the history of the customer relationship with the company is a decisive success factor, because it is estimated that keeping a regular customer is seven to eight times cheaper than acquiring a new customer. The possible uses of direct marketing are extensive:

Database Marketing

Information from publicly accessible sources such as telephone books or business directories cannot be used as external sources for preparing a direct marketing campaign , as these sources may not be used for advertising purposes. Address dealers (so-called address publishers or list brokers ) mediate addresses from customer databases to direct marketing companies and generate databases according to their wishes, should these not yet be available in this form. Internal data sources are the company's own customer files. The returns are recorded in the same database and are available for further processing (follow-up, follow-up offers, reactivation).

Database marketing therefore plays an important role, because it is responsible for all measures relating to the structure, design, use and maintenance of a database. The better this information is prepared, the more accurate conclusions can be drawn about purchasing and consumer behavior. The aim is, on the one hand, to avoid large and costly wastage when addressing the customer and, on the other hand, to select the right customers for the campaign from the database.

With the help of database marketing, the market segmentation is implemented in concrete actions. The constant maintenance of the database is important, because the evaluation of the returns from the campaigns as well as other internal data sources such as Over time, for example, the field service report system and sales statistics allow ever better predictions about the chances of success of the individual instruments of the marketing mix for the company concerned.

Planning a direct marketing campaign

When planning a direct marketing campaign, there is a framework that you can adhere to. It comprises eight steps that should be considered in planning.

1. Situation analysis

  • Where is my company?
  • What is my market share ?
  • What can i offer
  • What are my customers asking for / looking for?
  • What does the competition offer?
  • How do I get new addresses?

2. Goal setting

  • Goal content: What should the campaign achieve? Who should be addressed?
  • Target timeframe: In which period should the campaign take place?
  • Target group: who should be reached?
  • Achievement of goals: what should be achieved? (Sales? Profit? Etc.)
  • Target market: In which market do you want to be active?
  • Target budget: What budget is available and what are these resources used for?

3. Strategy determination

4. Communication planning

  • Single stage campaign
  • Multi-stage campaign
  • Communication schedule

5. Realization planning (rough planning)

  • Rough planning of the process. (e.g .: Obtaining offers, placing orders, ordering addresses, typesetting / final artwork, approval for printing , purchasing addresses , lettershop , incoming mail from the customer, response ), generating e-mail addresses

6. Scheduling (detailed planning)

  • Schedule and scheduling of the individual steps from the implementation planning

7. Budget planning

  • Statement of costs

8. Control

Advertising forms of direct marketing

Direct marketing promotions can take several forms. They are divided into single or multi-level actions. Contributing factors include the number of customer contacts made. It is irrelevant whether these contacts are made in writing, by telephone or in some other way. A mix of theese kinds of communication is possible too.

Whether an action is carried out in one or more stages can depend on several factors:

  • Type of product
  • Price of the product
  • Promotion edition
  • Cost per contact
  • The advertiser's communication options
  • Advertising target
  • Break even

One-step direct marketing campaign

  1. Address selection
  2. Mailing with product information
  3. Wait for the orders

Multi-stage direct marketing campaign

  1. Address selection
  2. Call for address qualification and further preselection
  3. Mailing with product information
  4. Call for needs assessment
  5. Mailing with a special offer (individualized)
  6. Call to make an appointment or to take an order

Evaluation of direct marketing


The central strength of direct marketing lies in its measurability . By using advertising codes or directly comparing the people advertised with the advertising respondents, the costs and benefits of direct advertising campaigns can be directly compared. This direct measurability makes it possible to evaluate direct marketing campaigns using "hard" key figures. Another direct consequence of this property is the ability to optimize direct marketing campaigns using tests.

Depending on the criterion, the individual customers can be differentiated from a “star customer” to a “waiver customer”. With the possibility of differentiation, you can design an advertising measure individually for each customer. A “star customer” who has high sales and profit potential as well as the best growth prospects justifies high marketing expenditure. This is expressed e.g. B. in the form of intensive customer care - before, during and after the purchase -, preferred delivery or consideration of special requests.

A so-called "waiver customer", who is characterized by a low sales potential and low growth prospects, should be better given up, as he usually already has a negative contribution margin . This differentiation and selection of customers is one of the success factors of database marketing.

Furthermore, customer relationships are established, which should lead to customer loyalty and ultimately to close customer loyalty. Regular customers still generate the most sales. It is up to seven times easier (or cheaper) to get a regular customer to buy than to win over a new customer. Therefore, direct marketing not only has advantages for the acquisition of new customers, but primarily serves the goal of retaining regular customers closely to the company.

This customer proximity and customer satisfaction continue to have positive effects on the market. With direct response advertising in particular, it is possible to tap into new target groups, since the recipient of an advertising message expresses his interest by reacting to the advertising message. The data obtained in this way can in turn be used in further campaigns in order to design advertising measures more individually.

Due to the oversaturation of consumers with mass advertising, fewer and fewer promotions lead to the desired success. On the other hand, the individual contact approach in particular reduces the wastage of the advertising material used and thus leads to an improvement in profits due to the potential for cost savings. Direct marketing therefore allows the financial resources to be used efficiently.


However, direct marketing also has its legal and economic limits. It has a relatively short duration compared to traditional advertising media.

It must also be ensured that the dialogue with the customer is not mechanical, but should be tailored to the special needs. This dialogue is - the more individually it is tailored to the individual customer - correspondingly cost-intensive. In addition, there are costs associated with data acquisition and the establishment and maintenance of the relevant databases. All of this must be justified by the corresponding return that the customer brings.

Furthermore, the nature of direct marketing is always associated with an annoying element. Depending on the intensity of the advertising, this can lead to an unreasonable impairment of the privacy of the person being sought. More and more recipients are resisting this increasing intensity of direct mail by affixing the sticker “No advertising” to the mailbox and entering it on the Robinson list . If several companies fight for a small group of customers, the courted can be filled with an unreasonable amount of advertising. Marketing management is challenged here to find a balance between the frequency of inquiries and the company's image.

Basically, the case law in Germany ensures a relatively high level of consumer protection, as it gives privacy priority over a company's pursuit of profit. So far, so-called cold calls were only prohibited by law from private individuals. In principle, however, the ban on harassment through telephone advertising also applies to calls made between traders. According to a decision of the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court of July 24, 2003 (6 U 36/03), so-called "cold calls" are to win new customers because of customer acquisition through harassment according to § 1 UWG a. F. (now § 3 UWG) prohibited. The BGH also forbids cold calls to traders in its judgment of November 16, 2006 (Az .: I ZR 191/03).

In case law, exceptions are only permitted if the person addressed has asked for the call himself or if there is justified reason to believe that the person called fully agrees to the call. This is only accepted in regular business relationships. In particular, current case law opposes the argument that the entry of a company in the yellow pages suggests an interest in offers.

Direct marketing associations

measure up

One of the leading trade fairs in the field of direct marketing are the Mailingtage , which has been held every year in the CongressCenter Nuremberg since 2000 . In 2008, a total of over 7,000 trade fair visitors, congress and workshop participants were counted. Further trade fairs are the Contact Center World CCW in Berlin with 7600 visitors in 2014 and the specialist congress 'Successful Contact Center' in CPH Hanau with 250 participants in 2014.

See also


  • Malte C. Bayer: An advertiser unpacks! Direct marketing according to plan. Lahr 2003, ISBN 3-00-012317-2 .
  • Jürgen Bruns: Direct Marketing. 2. completely revised. Ed., Kiehl, Ludwigshafen 2007, ISBN 978-3-470-47662-9 .
  • Heinz Dallmer (Ed.): Manual Direct Marketing. 7. completely redesigned. Ed., Gabler, Wiesbaden 1997, ISBN 3-409-36702-0 .
  • Heinrich Holland : direct marketing. 3. completely revised and exp. Ed., Vahlen, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-8006-3609-9 .
  • Manfred Krafft (Ed.): Internationales Direktmarketing. 2. revised and exp. Ed., Gabler, Wiesbaden 2006, ISBN 3-8349-0419-8 .
  • Markus Schöberl: Tests in direct marketing: Concepts and methods for practice - evaluation and analysis - quality management and success orientation. Redline Economy, Frankfurt / M. 2004, ISBN 3-636-03008-6 .
  • Joseph F. Schöngruber; Harald Faust: Response Management. IM Marketing Forum, Ettlingen 2002, ISBN 3-930047-49-7 .
  • Siegfried Vögele: The dialogue method: the sales talk by letter and reply card. 12th edition, Redline Wirtschaft, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-636-03038-8 .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Derived from: Andreas Scherfke: Dialogmarketing Für Dummies, Wiley-VCH Verlag, Weinheim, 2007
  2. IHK Telemarketing , accessed on May 10, 2015.
  3. ^ CCW , accessed May 10, 2015.
  4. Trade fair: Successful contact center in Hanau. accessed on May 20, 2015.