Direct marketing gives SMEs an ‘advantage’

SMEs can benefit from direct marketing more than larger companies through getting to know their customers individually, claim business experts.

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) says that the ‘strongest benefit’ SMEs can take from direct marketing is to target existing customers rather than using it as a tool to attract new ones.

David Thorp, director of research and information at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, says: ‘The information you have about people who’ve bought from you before gives you knowledge about what they’re likely to buy.’

This allows SMEs to tailor products to individuals who are likely to buy the specific product or service in the campaign, and omit those customers who aren’t going to be interested.

Mr Thorp adds that this ‘creates a more effective relationship’ between business and customer.

According to the Direct Mail Information Service, a UK source of information on the direct mail industry, research conducted in 2005 showed that the overall volume of direct mail has increased by 87 per cent from the ten years previous.

Direct marketing is effective because it is flexible

Direct marketing is still considered effective because of the flexible nature of its methods, according to an industry expert.

Related: Advantages and disadvantages of direct marketing for small businesses

Director of corporate development for the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM) Ren Kapur says that direct marketing is effective because it ‘changes according to consumer trends’.

Its flexibility means that it is able to be ‘more sensitive’ to consumer attitudes and so continues to be effective in ‘a drastically changing market’, she adds.

After a brief phase of mainly being email-based, direct marketing its returning to its traditional roots of being posted, Kapur notes.

This time, though, postal marketing is being carried out in a more cost-effective and targeted way, she comments.

According to the Fournaise Marketing Group‘s Global Marketing Effectiveness Report, carried out in 2007, direct marketing is still considered the top medium for marketing effectiveness, even though it takes up less than 35 per cent of global marketing budgets.

See also: The benefits of direct marketing

Alan Dobie

Alan Dobie

Alan was assistant editor at Vitesse Media Plc (previous owner of before moving on to a content producer role at Reed Business Information. He has over 17 years of experience in the...

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