What Is Direct Marketing All About?

What is Direct Marketing and Digital Social Media About? A certainly curious study of a recent survey was conducted amongst top internet marketing experts and direct response marketers earlier in 2015.

They discussed and reviewed the latest evolutionary cycles in versatile advertising between momentumal shifts in digital marketing, paid ads, search optimization and the real-time web effect of status changes in social media, forums, apps and a whole host of other communication-focused platforms around the world.

While the world may truly be a morphing into global marketplace ranging rich of necessary commodities to exotic oddities, you want to know what the biggest breakthrough and transactional take away was of that 'best of the bunch' marketing network study?

They said they have ALL learned more about marketing in the last 2 years than the decade plus all of them had been 'in the attracting-eyeball-game'. Sound profound?

What does that mean for you?

Other than pointing out the the rapidly-changing dynamically-evolving direct online marketing spectrum of hyper-active cross-channel communication and constantly-connected and contacted consumers around the clock, is that the window of opportunity for you to optimize the whole playing field is extra wavy right now.

It is time to learn, sharpen, and develop your skills into becoming a direct marketing professional who has insight, experience and know-with-all to make it happen.

That is what Direct Marketing Social stands for and is all about. We want to prove and improve every day that digital marketing and becoming a direct marketer is in your best interest if you want to be in business and enjoy sustainable success.

We are developing a conscious community of collaborators and direct marketing entrepreneurs who want to master the game and claim the ladder of fortune.

Sales systems are vital, social media is critical, and search optimization is pivotal in your chance to cultivate and capitalize (or clean up and cash out) on your best assets and biggest experiences.

Direct Marketing - Organic Origins

If you think there's no clear consensus on how to define direct marketing, think again. There's actually a textbook definition whose principles are adhered to religiously by those in the industry. Turns out that even though the history of direct marketing predates the internet by decades, it happens to be the perfect business structure for leveraging the world wide web. There are more online businesses using this marketing approach than ever before, and the number continues to grow at a wildfire pace.

It just may be the proliferation of businesses employing the direct marketing approach which has confused everyone...what does direct marketing really mean?

So in case you're confused about what constitutes "direct marketing", here's a quick primer on the origins, the source of confusion, and what it means to be a direct marketer today.

What Is The History of Direct Marketing?

In 1961, the era of "Mad Men", an ad man named Lester Wunderman came up with a new way of marketing goods to people. He was interested in using scientific principles to create a method of marketing that spoke directly to consumers. Speaking to high rollers in the mail-order ad business, he spoke about the fact that ads in catalogs had serious limitations: they didn't speak directly to the individual consumer. Instead, they broadcast a generic message to anyone and everyone who saw the ad.

Wunderman: "No More Mass Marketing!"

Wunderman's idea was that production and selling should reverse roles. The industrial revolution brought the world mass production. Mass advertising soon followed. What drives the whole system is the factories and the goods they produced. Factories produce mass quantities of goods for unknown markets. Then retailers buy those goods and try to convince people to buy them. They use general advertising aimed at the masses...hence "mass persuasion".

Direct Marketing Puts Producers in Direct Communication with their Customers

Direct marketing, argued Wunderman, used a more individualized approach to production and marketing. Instead of producing goods and hoping they sell, factories should listen to the consumer market and produce what people want. That's putting the producer of goods in direct contact with their markets.

Direct marketing means a direct relationship between consumer and manufacturer. Both benefit because now producers are creating goods people really want, and people are having their individual desires catered to in a more personal way.

Here's Why People Get Confused

The confusion began because man approaches to advertising could be considered direct marketing if done the right way. For example, let's look at Facebook. If your business has a Facebook fan page and you post something advertising a product in your store, that's mass marketing. Anybody who looks at your Facebook page will see the ad, and you have no idea who they are. But if you comment on a follower's input on your page, then you're direct marketing. That's because you're speaking directly to an individual, not a mass audience.

Direct Mail is not the Same as Direct Marketing

Another source of confusion is Direct Mail. Everyone has at one time received in the mail an "offer" or other junk mail addressed to him or her personally but also to "Current Resident". That's not direct marketing! However, if you send mail to an individual, based on knowing something about him or her, that's direct marketing.

Other old-school forms of direct marketing include:

  • telemarketing
  • a booth at an event where you talk to people
  • email, if it's written to an indivual

Old school advertising that's NOT direct marketing:

  • TV commercials: they're aimed at everyone!
  • magazine and newspaper ads: same as above

Direct Marketing, the Internet, and You

In 1967 Lester Wunderman gave a speech at MIT that pretty much summed it all up for us. He also didn't know it, but he was describing exactly the way today's direct marketers are using the internet to run their businesses. It was from that point on that direct marketing as a concept really took off.

In his words, at MIT in November 1967, he described the new information age:

"People, product and services are all seeking an individual identity. Taste, desire, ambition and lifestyle have made shopping once again a form of personal expression."

-Lester Wunderman, father of Direct Marketing

In short, selling is going back to the era before the industrial revolution, where shopkeepers had individualized relationships with their customers and knew their tastes and desires. The internet has made this possible, and lucky us: we're here to take part in a revolution of marketing techniques. Pretty exciting!