Definition of Direct Marketing: Forms, Media, Strengths, and Weaknesses

Direct Marketing Meaning – When talking about marketing or marketing in the business world, surely most business people agree that interacting directly with customers can be one of the surefire techniques so that their products are known to the general public. Yep, many think that a marketing strategy in the form of direct interaction or what is commonly called direct marketing can increase sales.

This is because with this direct interaction, there is no need for other intermediaries to connect sellers and buyers as their customers. Currently, there are many companies that implement a marketing strategy in the form of direct marketing.

Then actually, what is the meaning of direct marketing? Is it just direct interaction between sellers and buyers? Or even more than that?

So, so that you are not confused, let’s look at the following review about direct marketing. Who knows, it can be useful and then applied to your business !

Definition of Direct Marketing

According to Kotler & Armstrong (2014), direct direct or direct marketing is a direct relationship between sellers and carefully targeted individual consumers, in order to get an immediate response and foster lasting customer relationships.

Then, according to Duncan (2002), direct marketing is when a company wants to establish direct communication with customers, through the use of media to encourage how the customer responds.

There is also an opinion from Hudson (2008) who argues that direct marketing is a marketing system that is fully controlled by the marketer, through efforts to develop products, promote them, to distribute their products directly to final consumers, using several media options and accepting orders. directly from the customer.

Based on several expert opinions regarding the definition of direct marketing, it can be concluded that direct marketing or direct marketing is a direct relationship between sellers and buyers who use an advertising medium to make it easier to get a response from buyers.

In the description of these definitions, it repeatedly mentions the involvement of the media in its direct marketing efforts. The media in question can be in the form of telemarketing, interactive TV, website, e-mail, telephone, and facsimile to promote and/or protect the image of the company or product that is being offered.

Especially in the industrial world, this direct marketing strategy has become a trend and is increasingly being used, especially in efforts to promote companies. This is because direct marketing can run without using intermediaries that connect producers with their customers. This direct communication effort was indeed carried out deliberately so that the company or producer would get a response or a sales transaction.

What are the Forms of Direct Marketing?

According to Kotler and Armstrong , as United States marketing consultants and professors, argued that there are six indicators of the form of this direct marketing strategy, namely as follows.

1. Face to Face Selling

The first form of indicator is face-to-face selling or often referred to as personal selling, which is direct (face-to-face) communication between the seller (usually carried out by a sales assistant) and potential customers to introduce and shape consumer understanding of the product being offered. This is done so that potential consumers are willing to try or buy the product.

In fact, many large companies rely on this form of personal selling to reach the end customer. For example: insurance agents, salespeople for Tupperware, salespeople for powdered milk, and so on.

2. Direct Mail Marketing ( Direct Mail Marketing )

Namely a form of direct marketing that involves the activity of sending offers, announcements, to warnings of the arrival of goods at a certain address. Through the use of selected mailing lists, marketers would in turn send millions of pieces of mail each year. These letters can be in the form of advertisements, samples, circulars, facsimiles, e-mails, to ballot boxes.

3. Catalog Marketing ( Catalogue Marketing )

Namely a form of direct marketing that involves selling through catalogs. This catalog will be posted to a list of selected customers or even made available at distribution stores.


Namely a form of direct marketing that uses the telephone to sell products directly to consumers. Telemarketing is deliberately well designed and has many goals in order to facilitate the process of buying and procuring information on the product or service that is being offered.

5. Direct Response Television Marketing ( Direct Response Television Marketing )

In this form of direct marketing has two sub-units in the form of:

  • Direct Response Advertising ( Direct Response Advertising )

Namely a form of promotion in the form of the marketer will immediately broadcast television advertisements with a duration of about 60-120 seconds. In the advertisement, there will be a dialogue in the form of a description of the product explanation accompanied by a toll-free number addressed to customers when they want to place an order.

  • Home Shopping Channels

Surely you are no stranger to television channels that specifically promote their products and constantly give discounts to the first caller? Well, it’s also a form of direct marketing, you know…

Namely in the form of television program channels or television channels which are entirely devoted to selling goods or services. The most popular shopping channel is the Home Shopping Network (HSN).

6. Kiosk Marketing

Namely in the form of companies that will market their products by placing information machines or messages in shops, airports and other public places.

What are the Characteristics in Direct Marketing?

According to Hasan (2013), this direct marketing strategy has four main characteristics, namely as follows.

  • Non-Public : messages or product information addressed to customers or only certain customers (one-to-one customer).
  • Customized : messages or product information prepared in such a way as to attract potential customers.
  • Up-to-date : messages or product information are prepared very quickly so that they can be immediately given to potential customers.
  • Interactive : message or product information can be changed, depending on how the prospect responds.

What Media Are Used in Direct Marketing?

Previously, it was explained that this direct marketing strategy requires a number of media to make it easier to get a buyer’s response. So, here are the media that are usually used in direct marketing strategies:

1. Direct Mail

Direct mail can be a medium that is widely used as a direct marketing medium and has proven successful in selling various types of goods and services to consumers or other businesses.


The second medium is the use of telephone-based telemarketing, both inbound and outbound. Inbound telemarketing (inward marketing) is also known as remote service and usually involves handling orders and responding to product requests from consumers.

Meanwhile, outbound telemarketing is also often used in this direct marketing effort, especially in one-step selling. Not only that, outbound telemarketing can also be used to follow up sales, to increase sales so that customers become active in direct marketing for the next product.

3. Magazine

The next medium used in direct marketing is magazines. In magazines, there will usually be advertisements that invite readers to order the products offered in the advertisement. There are various forms, usually in the form of sending coupons, answer cards, to toll-free telephone numbers that are useful for contacting sellers if they wish to buy the product.

4. Newspapers

Newspapers are different from direct mail, because newspapers are newspapers. Most marketers or producers actually advertise more in magazines than newspapers, even though newspapers can provide several advantages, you know, compared to magazines.

One of the reasons is because the target readers of newspapers are more than magazines, besides that the response given by potential customers is also more immediate.

5. Radios

Although currently the existence of radio has slowly “disappeared” and been replaced by a podcast system, it turns out that radio can also provide benefits to producers, you know . Especially by putting forward interesting words between the listener and the seller. Do not forget also the sound effects and music that can attract listeners as potential buyers.

6. Television

The next medium is the use of television which is considered to be able to increase sales rapidly. Messages or product information conveyed through television media really attract the attention of potential consumers, depending on how the producers or marketers offer and demonstrate their products more virtually.

7. Internet

The last medium is the internet which is very useful in this direct marketing strategy. The techniques used by direct marketing in internet media can be applied through online catalog sites, virtual malls, to stand-alone websites to build consumer relationships so they can receive an immediate response.

What are the Advantages of Direct Marketing?

Direct marketing or direct marketing, of course, has various advantages that make it still used by business people today, especially to market their products or services so that they can reach the hands of buyers. So, here are seven advantages of direct marketing:

1. Targeting

Namely a strategy in an effort to choose, select, to reach a market. So, through direct marketing, it is hoped that later a product or service can reach the target market.

2. Cost Effective

Through direct marketing, the costs incurred will be much more effective. This is because sales will definitely not stop in just one round, but will be carried out repeatedly ( repeat sales ) with a clear target market.

3. Flexibility

Through direct marketing, later product marketing can be more flexible because it is done using various types of media forms.

4. Control & Accountability

Through direct marketing, later it will be easy to calculate the responses that appear as well as facilitate the activities of making a promotional budget.

5. Measures of Effectiveness

Through direct marketing, later it will be easy to get direct feedback from consumers regarding the product or service that is being offered.

6. Opportunity to Test

Through direct marketing, it is easy to carry out various activities related to product marketing, such as price research, promotions, and production timing.

7. Consumer Database

Through direct marketing, later it will make it easier for marketers or producers to form consumer databases, so that they can achieve repeat sales from one customer at a time or more.

Then, Does Direct Marketing Have Disadvantages?

Although direct marketing or direct marketing has various advantages, it cannot be denied that this strategy also has disadvantages. So, here is a description of the shortcomings that direct marketing has.

1. Disturbing the Privacy of Some Consumers

Especially in direct marketing which is done through direct mail delivery media. This means consumers will get calls and offers every day. So, this can create a negative image in the eyes of consumers, especially when consumers don’t want to be disturbed and really need privacy.

2. List accuracy level is too low

In this case, the level of accuracy of the list used to designate the target market is sometimes too low. This is because the list used is often not in accordance with the target market targeted by the company.

3. Huge Costs To Provide Facilities and Facilities

To carry out this direct marketing strategy, of course, requires a variety of adequate facilities and means, ranging from online telephone facilities, HR (Human Resources) who are reliable and able to master information about a product, to advertising budgets in certain media. These various facilities and means make the company have to spend a lot of money in an effort to provide them.

4. Expensive Ad Prices

Especially in the use of advertising in print and electronic media, where the price is getting more and more expensive. To outsmart this, most marketers as producers switch to using internet media.

What Benefits Can You Get From Direct Marketing?

1. Benefits for Sellers

For sellers, the use of direct marketing certainly provides a high level of flexibility, especially when they want to have the right method to reach their consumers. In addition, through direct marketing, marketing experts from the company will later use it to create a special strategy for the company so that other companies do not imitate it.

2. Benefits for Consumers

Some consumers will usually feel helped by the application of direct marketing because they can immediately identify and find the advantages and disadvantages of the products offered. Not only that, some consumers will also feel lucky if they don’t have to leave their homes to buy their products.

Another benefit is that consumers can freely determine their product choices based on the product catalog.

So, that’s a review of direct marketing along with an explanation of other things related to it. The most frequently encountered form of direct marketing is through the Home Shopping television channel, which you may often watch to find definite information regarding the product being offered.