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Direct Marketing (DM) has been the staple of small and medium sized businesses for decades. In spite of the big budget brand awareness campaigns that we all love to see, direct marketing has evolved over the years to maintain its importance in business-to-consumer and business-to-business communications. In fact, in today’s unpredictable economy, forms of direct marketing are arguably more important than ever before.

Although the traditional forms of DM such as door drops, promotional letters, catalogue distribution, e-mail campaigns may not be as glamorous as brand awareness they are solid work horses that bring in results.

As technology advances DM has added some strings to her bow in the form of social marketing, using facebook, twitter etc. These new media, which are being heavily invested in by the marketing industry, still rely on the principles of direct marketing.

It’s more than just advertising, those companies who have merely blasted their brand or misused social media have come a cropper. There have been some real disasters, remember BP’s response to the Gulf Oil spill? Price Chopper, a grocery store chain, was voted the biggest social media flop 0f 2010 after they complained to a customer’s boss after the customer criticised the chain on Twitter. Then there was Denny’s accidentally pointing customers to a Taiwanese boy’s abandoned Twitter account on the back of its menus. But enough of me enjoying others pain.

As the definition and role of direct marketing continues to evolve, companies seeking reliable and effective forms of advertising ought to consider partnering with direct marketing specialists. Use a creative team for producing high-quality logos, catalogues and mail pieces in addition to a business intelligence group that has access to targeted databases containing information your business needs.

Businesses that handle direct marketing in-house often fail for two reasons: time and resources are taken away from the company’s core business; and laws, such as data protection, are violated on occasions, which can result in substantial regulatory fines or worse. Specialist direct marketing firms understand how to sell a product or service in full compliance with the law while you manage your business.

In a troubled economy, companies cannot rely on brand awareness and mass marketing to survive, one-on-one direct marketing is essential for targeting specific consumer needs, providing tailor-made incentives and formulating the most cost-effective solutions for small and medium sized businesses.

DM specialists operate at the cutting-edge of technology, which means that integrated marketing solutions can be employed to achieve the desired results. Partnering with a direct marketing firm usually proves far less costly and measurably more successful than in-house alternatives.

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