Direct Digital Marketing: Advantages & Disadvantages

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

When you think '~'direct digital marketing,'~' do you think email? Mobile? Web? How about all three? In this lesson, we uncover some advantages and disadvantages of all three platforms as part of direct digital marketing.

What Is Direct Digital Marketing?

Have you ever opened an email newsletter? Visited a website? Opened a text message from a favorite store? If so, you know what it's like to be on the receiving end of direct digital marketing. Direct digital marketing is everything that traditional direct marketing used to be but in electronic form. Instead of printing a flyer or postcard and mailing it to someone's house, marketers address their message through an email address, phone number, or web browser cookie.

Direct digital marketing comes with both advantages and potential drawbacks.
direct digital marketing, email, mobile, web, cookies

Like all strategies and tactics, direct digital marketing has its advantages and its drawbacks. Let's discuss a few of each so you--as a budding marketer--can make informed decisions about the best use of email, mobile, and web to reach your audience.

Advantages of DDM

Many of the benefits of direct digital marketing (DDM) may be apparent, but others are a bit sneaky. Here are some of the top reasons to make DDM part of your overall strategy.

1. It's targeted: Trying to reach pet owners with a newspaper ad? Good luck. Some people viewing your ad may be pet owners and some may not. The thing is, you'll never know. With DDM, you can easily target pet owners with relevant content. Thanks to your business databases that collect this type of information, sending specific communications to a very niche group of recipients is simpler.

2. It's easy to share: Have you ever received an email so good you just had to share it? Thanks to DDM platforms, letting your friends and family in on the great information (or deal) you just received is easy. A few clicks of the mouse or a short text message and that marketing content reaches an entirely new audience.

3. It can be measured: As a marketer, you want to believe that everyone is opening your email and engaging with your message, but that's simply not the case. Some emails reach the wrong address, and some recipients simply don't open what they receive. By using DDM, you open yourself up to analytics, or the ability to measure the success of your campaign. Some important analytics include the open rate of your message and the click-through rate; that is, the number of people who follow your link beyond their inbox.

4. It's cheap: Many marketing efforts are quite expensive. Thanks to the ever-expanding internet, it is cheaper (and in some cases, free) to get your brand's message out there. Sure, there are initial costs for setting up an email or text messaging campaign (such as contracting with a provider), but compared to yesterday's costs of running a magazine or radio ad, DDM is definitely inexpensive.

5. It's immediate: Remember the days of snail mail, waiting for a letter or a catalog to arrive? No more. Direct digital marketing delivers a promotion, article, or newsletter in the time it takes you to finish reading this sentence. And, since mobile users are almost always within arm's reach of their mobile device, your text or email message will be seen in mere seconds.

6. It favors simplicity: Think about the size of your mobile device. There's not much landscape there, right? That means marketing messages must be simple and concise. This is good news for designers and recipients; DDM uses a straightforward approach.

7. It's personal: Thanks to small tracking files known as cookies, you can easily personalize content for customers based on browsing habits or purchase history. Personalized content generates six times the amount of transactions than non-personalized content.

Disadvantages of DDM

With its array of benefits, it may be hard to believe that there are negatives to DDM. However, there are certain disadvantages that must be recognized.

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