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Sunday, 29th November 2020

There have been many attempts to define direct marketing in order to encompass the many diverse and ceaselessly growing activities undertaken in the field.

The most distinctive feature of direct marketing is that it focuses on the individual rather than the marketplace. Concepts such as customer relationship marketing or management are central to direct marketing practice. Direct marketers see their interaction with customers as a journey with three linked stages – acquiring the customer, developing a relationship with them and retaining them (stopping them defecting to competitors).

The four cornerstones of direct marketing are:


Targeting - Targeting is key because of the reliance of direct marketers on addressable media but also placing adverting where the right type of customer will see it.

Interaction Interaction - This element generates direct contact with customers and potential customers. Interaction provides data to drive targeting decisions and helps recognise individuals so continuity is introduced into relationships. Every direct marketing communication should have a way for customers to respond – a website, telephone or address.


Continuity – This is about increasing customer loyalty, rather than chasing after new customers. Direct Marketers are concerned with lifetime value. By increasing the value of a customer the original return on customer investment becomes higher.


Control - Direct Marketing is accountable because direct enquiries and orders are easily measurable. All promotional communications are measured and the actions of customers monitored to adjust or confirm future planning.

The explosion of new media tools provides the direct marketer with many new and exciting ways to contact customers including the internet, email, mobile, digital TV and radio, – all of which are highly measurable and creative.

To find out about the variety of job roles available in this exciting industry take a look at our marketing job roles for the three main companies; client, agency and supplier.

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See our essential hints and tips on putting your CV together, making an impact at an interview and choosing the right career path. Watch the online video clips to find out exactly what the experts look for during an interview. It could land you that first job!


Read our glossaries to find out everything you need to know about marketing companies and job roles.

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