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What are the disadvantages of direct marketing?


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February 07, 2011 7:15PM

1. Junk Mail - By using direct mail, a company risks alienating the customers it seeks to gain. The use of direct mail is often associated with a company of lower status and quality.

2. Environmental Impact - Direct marketing typically involves the heavy use of physical components in order to give consumers an object they can hold in their hands. This physical side of direct marketing means that a greater amount of natural resources are consumed in their production as well as a greater amount of pollution.

3. Metrics - It is hard when using direct marketing to get any reliable metrics on its impact. Direct marketing involves a much longer-term strategy where the results are uncertain and the best that can be said is that it may be working. It is often very unclear whether direct marketing is alienating more customers than it is creating.

4. Time - It is hard to get as immediate of an impact when using direct marketing, as the advertising product, by its nature, takes time to reach consumers. Time is often equated with money in business, and the time ratio in direct marketing is a disadvantage.

5. Laws - The distribution of fliers and street advertising is often prohibited by law in certain areas. This is a major disadvantage of this form of direct marketing as certain customer bases will be unreachable. If a marketer wishes to reach customers, for instance, in a high-traffic and wealthy area, this may be impossible using direct marketing of this kind.

6. Limited Reach - There is an inherently limited geographic reach to direct marketing involving fliers and street advertising. By using this form of direct marketing, you will be limited to consumers in a very specific distribution area and will have to depend on word of mouth for others.