You are on page 1of 32

Abstract

Title: Direct marketing in Oman and how its help small business.

Authors: Thuraiya Mahfoodh Nasser Al Yaarubi

Sara Khalifa Hamed Al Azwani

Walaa Khamis Khalfan Al Nadabi

Advisor: Mohamed ATTIA

Level: High Diploma Program

Keywords: Direct marketing – Telemarketing – Direct response marketing - Mobile

Question: How Direct Marketing can help the growing of the small business in Oman?

Purpose: The purpose was to investigate how Direct Marketing can be used by small
business to increase sales.

Method: This project is done as a qualitative research and with a deductive approach
since we have studied theories and then done our own research. The data collected for
this research was taken exclusively from the survey distributed to the companies chosen
to be a part of this research.

Theoretical framework: This chapter is introduced with theories regarding direct


marketing which is followed by a section on the principles of marketing (semester1).
Further a closer look is done at one of the course of the marketing mix; direct marketing
(semester 4). There are five promotion tools existing and in this project a closer look is
taken at the direct marketing tool. Direct marketing is one of the best tools can be used
by small business to achieve the various marketing objectives.

Empirical studies: The empirical studies consist of data collected when the websites
of the companies have been studied.

Page | 1
This chapter is an introduction regarding the subject made to create an
understanding by the reader.
Marketing is the process of getting a business noticed by the people who need or want a
products or services. Many small businesses come up with a fabulous business idea but then
fail to market it successfully. Small business need to get out there and spread the word about
their products or services to the right people to build their customer base. Marketing mix are
part of the process but there is much more involved.

The marketing mix consists of four marketing tools; product, place, promotion and place
(Kotler et al., 2005). These tools are used by companies to create a demand of their product
within their target audience (Kotler et al., 2005). When companies are making strategies of
how to promote a product, five different tools are to be considered; advertising, personal
selling, direct marketing, public relations and sales promotion (Kotler et al., 2005).

Direct marketing is a promotional method that involves presenting information about a


company, product, or service to target customer without the use of an advertising middleman.
It is a targeted form of marketing that presents information of potential interest to a consumer
that has been determined to be a likely buyer.

While some marketing techniques aim to increase awareness or to educate markets about a
company’s products or services, direct marketing’s sole goal is to persuade the recipient to take
action. Good direct marketing campaigns focus on promoting a specific product or service, and
call customers to act - to receive further information, register their interest, visit your website
and make a booking or a purchase.

Direct marketing gives small business the opportunity to promote their products and services
directly to the customers who most need them. A good direct marketing campaign help small
business to build relationships with new customers, to provide customers with compelling
content they can share with potential customers and to increase sales.

Page | 2
Question: How can direct marketing help small business in Oman?

Purpose
The purpose was to investigate how direct marketing can be used on small companies’ in
Oman to try to achieve the various marketing objectives.

Objectives of the study

This research aims at:

 Understanding how direct marketing are used by small business to communicate with
customers about products.
 Evaluating the various tools of direct marketing.
 Discovering the various reasons that encourage small business in Oman to use direct
marketing in their promotional activities.
 To investigate and collect data to fulfill the study,

Scope of the study


Many companies offer products online and the interest among consumers to buy products on
the Internet is growing and therefore the choice of media is of importance. The increasing usage
of the Internet has made the offline companies to start using the Internet as a competitive
advantage to complement the offline competing.

Today many companies create a website when starting to use e-marketing and need to develop
a new model for marketing strategies because of the fact that the Internet is a growing media.

Limitations
Proper research methods need to be used in order to ensure a reliable result. Gathering information is
complicated because the data comes from small business and dealers but some of them avoid the use
of direct marketing as a promotional tools.

Page | 3
This chapter is based on the previous study and the problems, challenges occurred
in the area in past years. The aim of this chapter is to provide the reader with a
literature review concerning the research area and topic selected for the present
research.

Article 1: Consumers’ experiences with attitudes towards direct selling


methods. Barnowe and McNabb (1992)

A study by Barnowe and McNabb (1992) described finding from an investigation of


consumers’ experiences with attitudes towards direct selling methods, based up on face to face
interviews with 491 residences in three pacific North West metropolitan areas. Most of the
households in this study (92 %) had experienced direct selling attempts in the past three years
than were reported in the Harris (1997) survey for a five year period (88%). The findings of
this study also reinforce previous studies which and have indicated that women make more
purchased in direct selling than men. As was the case in the earlier studies by Harris and
Associates and Nowland Organization (1982), the consumers in this study complained about
pushy, untrustworthy sales persons and about the inconvenience of some direct selling
encounters. More than in the previous studies, consumers in this study criticized the poor
quality of products and services, and of follow up services including warranties and other
recourse problems. On the positive side, direct selling provides, for some consumers, a set of
strong attractions, personalized attention in the convenience of one’s own or another house, the
chance to ask questions and the chance to try products or them personally demonstrated.

Article 2: Experience of buying from direct sales people. Czech and Slovak
Republic. Wotruba and Pribova (1996)

The study by Wotruba and Pribova (1996) reports on a survey of 1571 households in the Czech
and Slovak Republic concerning their experience of buying from direct sales people, their
demographic characteristics and their attitudes as consumers towards direct selling. The results
are also compared with similar studies in US done by Harris (1977), Nowland (1982) and
Pete5rson, Albaum, Ridgway (1989). They found that the best potential buyers are younger
with higher level of education and income above average household size. Women seem more
amenable to direct selling than man; perhaps because of many of the products sold by direct
sellers have more direct appeal to women. Buyers do attribute more advantages and fewer
disadvantages to direct selling than do non buyer in both Czech Slovak market and US the

Page | 4
studies. But the relative strength of various advantages differs between these two market
situations. The Czech Slovak consumers are less concerned than US consumers with the
convenience and privacy intrusion and more concerned with the ability to examine the products
and difficulty in returning them if not satisfactory.

Article 3: Public attitudes. Czech and Slovak Republic. Wotruba and Pribova
(1996)

A study conducted by the Direct Selling Association of U.S.A in 2000 regarding the public
attitude reported some valuable findings. Public Attitude Tracking Survey, conducted by Burke
Marketing Research, assessed public attitudes toward the direct selling industry. This study
updates the findings of an earlier DSA study conducted by Wirthlin Worldwide in 1997. Data
from both surveys indicate that direct selling remains a vibrant marketing method that produces
considerable loyalty among its representatives and customers. Recent marketing innovations
such as use of the Internet and mall kiosks, while less prevalent than traditional direct selling
approaches, are gradually increasing in importance. Some interesting points revealed by the
survey include the following:

1. The direct selling industry has touched a majority of adult Americans: In 2000, 55 percent
of American adults reported having, at some time, purchased goods or services from a direct
selling representative.

2. In the 2000 survey, one in five American adults (20%) reported they are now (6%) or have
been (14%) a direct selling representative.

3. Among direct selling customers, three out of four (77%) have attended an in-home
demonstration or party.

Thirty-eight percent of adult Americans surveyed in 2000 have some interest in purchasing a
product or service in the future via direct selling, but only 27 percent had actually made a direct
selling purchase in the past year.

Both figures are about the same as in the earlier survey (Wirthlin Worldwide, 1997). With
public interest in purchasing through direct selling (38%) exceeding those who have purchased
(27%), these recent figures suggest there is an opportunity for growth.

The research also reveals the changing shopping patterns of Americans.

Page | 5
The finding goes as follows. As reported in 2000, the 55 percent of American adults who have
ever purchased by direct selling is exceeded only by the percentage of those who have ever
purchased via retail stores (96%) or through mail order catalogues (83%).

The percentage of American adults who are somewhat, very or extremely interested in using
the Internet as a method of purchasing products and services in the future has increased from
the 30 percent of American adults reported in the 1997 survey to the 50 percent reported in
2000.

Research conducted by DSA (Direct Selling Association) of USA in 2002 shows some of the
most popular reasons for people choose direct selling. These reasons are as follows:

• Direct selling is a good way to meet and socialize with people.


• Direct selling offers flexible work schedules.
• Direct selling is a good way to earn extra income.
• Direct selling is a good way to own a business.
• Earnings are in proportion to efforts.

Many people start direct selling as a part-time, and later leave their other careers when direct
selling becomes more beneficial.

Page | 6
This chapter begins with the description of the origin of direct marketing.
Then the definitions of direct marketing provided by various authors will be
reviewed. Further, the factors contributing to the growth of direct marketing
will be appreciated. Furthermore, the various forms, benefits and limitations
of direct marketing will also be analyzed.

1. Origin & evolution of Direct Marketing


a. Origin of Direct Marketing
The term direct marketing‟ was first used in the year 1960 by Lester Wunderman (O‟Malley
et al., 1999; p4). However, the origin of direct marketing dates back to the year 1498 when a
book catalogue was published by Aldus Manutius in Venice. In England, the direct marketing
began in the year 1667, when William Lucas published a gardening catalogue. (Evans et al.,
2004; p1)Direct marketing has evolved in the UK from mail order. In the beginning of 20th
century, the UK mail order began to develop. One of the mail order catalogues of that period
is the Freemans catalogue which was launched in 1905 (Mc Corkell, 1997). After the war, the
mail order grew at a fast and steady pace. The share of direct channels in the retail sales grew
steadily between 1950and 1970 (Mc Goldrick, 1990; p 60). In the mid-1980s, mail order lost
some of its share because of the competition from the larger high street stores who also started
providing credit facilities (Stewart, 1992). In the late 1980s, the mail order again gained
popularity

b. Evolution of Direct Marketing


The evolution of direct marketing over the past several years has led to an emergence of new
roles and new expectations for current ones. “Marketers have never had to know so much,”
says Jerry Bernhart, founder of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, which specializes in
marketing, e-commerce, and CRM. “There are just so many moving pieces to modern
marketing. You need someone who is data savvy [and] analytic; someone who has a proven
track record of growing a business; someone who's a financial steward; and someone who's a
marketing technologist. It's the land of a thousand niches.”

Bernhart, who has been placing job candidates for more than 20 years, says that need for
specificity is creating a demand for more defined roles, such as marketing analysts, data
scientists, digital project managers, and social marketing strategists, as well as marketing
executives who know how to capitalize on technology. “These days [senior marketers] have to

Page | 7
be more technologically savvy than ever; they have to be able to demonstrate how technology
can deliver success metrics,” he says.

But that's not all. “Marketing executives have to be innovative and have to be an advocate of
the brand, an advocate for the customer, and a partner with the CEO,” Bernhart adds. “It's
amazing when you think about it how much modern marketers have to bring to the table.”

Among all those attributes, an affinity for data is one that comes up most often. “The most
important things [that have affected] how marketing and marketing roles have evolved are data
and analytics centered on marketing,” says Michael Adler, managing partner at AC Lion,
which specializes in digital, technology, and sales recruiting. Adler points out that executive
recruiters like him are taxed with finding direct marketers with those data-driven, quantitative
skills. “Executive jobs in marketing today require direct marketers to look at mobile, tablets,
display, video, and social,” he says. “And for them it's now about looking at those as a
quantitative display of the consumer. In other words, a direct marketer has to be able to look at
those elements to really understand who the consumer is by collecting the data on those
consumers.”

Adler adds that marketers in evolving and emerging roles today require information—and lots
it. “Really, in a marketing job today,” he says, “what can you do without data?”

Aldler, Berhart, and Sherri Bedster, division manager and recruiter at Ad+One, outline four
positions that are disrupting direct marketing today: marketing analysts, data scientists, digital
project managers, and social marketing strategists—all positions that are shaping up differently
than in years past. They also define the modern marketing executive; underscoring how a new
wave of industry expectations and emerging technology is changing the game for even the most
seasoned marketers.

“These positions have been around for a while, but now it's just kind of sexier to be in them,”
Bedster says. “Direct response, loyalty, acquisitions—these are all areas that have had a need
for these positions in direct marketing.

Page | 8
2. Direct Marketing as a promotional tools
a. Definition
When companies are making strategies of how to promote a product, five different tools are to
be considered; advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, public relations and direct
marketing. (Kotler et al., 2005).

Direct marketing is a form of advertising where organizations communicate directly to


customers through a variety of media including cell phone text messaging, email, websites,
online adverts, database marketing, catalog distribution, promotional letters and targeted
television, newspaper and magazine.

Direct marketing is a promotional method that involves presenting information about your
company, product, or service to your target customer without the use of an advertising
middleman. It is a targeted form of marketing that presents information of potential interest to
a consumer that has been determined to be a likely buyer.

Direct marketing is a strategy used to create a personal and intermediary-free dialogue with
customers. This should be a measurable activity and it is very often media based, with a view
to creating and sustaining a mutually rewarding relationship. The development and use of direct
marketing principles by a variety of organizations are testimony to the power of this personal
form of communication.

Direct marketing has developed and flourished in recent years. Direct marketing, therefore, is
a term used to refer to all media activities that generate a series of communications and
responses with an existing or potential customer.

Direct marketing is a relatively new approach which, through the use of direct- response media
and database support, permits the generation and feedback of messages with individual
customers. The overarching objectives are to build and sustain a mutually rewarding
relationship with each customer, reduce remedial costs and improve effectiveness and
measurement. The use of direct marketing has grown considerably in the 1990s and will
undoubtedly continue to grow during the first decade of the next century. For some
organizations their whole marketing approach has been built around the direct concept (e.g.
financial services), whereas for others the approach needs to be used to complement their use
of the other tools in the promotional mix.

Page | 9
b. Factors affecting the growth of Direct Marketing
Despite these and many other successes, direct marketing did not come into its own as
marketing discipline until the 1970s. It's interesting to note that the successful introduction of
bank credit cards, including Visa and MasterCard, in the 1960s and 1970s was conducted using
direct marketing methods to persuade consumers, merchants, and banks to accept the cards.
Why consumers, merchants, and banks were ready to embrace bank credit cards, and why was
direct marketing the most effective way to present the message about credit cards?

The very elements that contributed to the increased effectiveness of direct marketing in the
1960s and 1970s continued to fuel the discipline's growth in the 1980s and 1990s. From the
many factors contributing to the growth of direct marketing and mail-order catalogs, direct
marketing expert Jim Kobs selected five as, the most important.

Changing lifestyles were an important factor in the acceptance of direct marketing among
consumers. The number of women working outside the home jumped from 42 to 58 percent
between 1980 and 1990. This was a trend that began at least a decade earlier and contributed
to the growth of direct marketing. After all, isn't it logical that when you have less time to go
shopping, it's more convenient to select and examine merchandise in your own home, at your
own convenience? Direct marketing extends this convenience beyond mail-order shopping to
consumers receiving all kinds of offers in the home, either via mail or commercial television,
as is common today, or via home-shopping networks and interactive television.

Another factor contributing to the growth of direct marketing was the increased cost associated
with personal sales calls. By the end of the 1970s, the average cost of a single sales call was
estimated to be about $137. By the end of the 1980s, the cost had risen to more than $250 per
call. An interesting application of direct marketing now is to use direct marketing methods to
make personal selling more cost-effective by generating qualified leads that can then be
followed up by a personal sales call.

Technological growth in general and computer-based technologies in particular, has played an


important role in many areas of direct marketing. New computer technologies have allowed
direct marketers to be more precise in the analysis of results, in the targeting of messages based
on more complex psychographics and demographics, in developing more sophisticated
customer and prospect databases, and even in the creative execution of direct-mail packages.

Page | 10
The growth in the number of available products and services has made direct marketing more
attractive than mass marketing when a larger number of goods and services are being offered
to a smaller group of prospects.

Increased consumer acceptance of the telephone as a way to place orders has also helped direct
marketing achieve phenomenal growth. Coupled with telephone-based ordering are faster order
fulfillment and the elimination of delays previously associated with mail order. Today, placing
an order by phone offers almost the same "instant gratification" as picking up a piece of
merchandise at the store.

Other socioeconomic factors contributing to the growth and acceptance of direct marketing
include a population growing older, rising discretionary income, more single households, and
the growth of the "me" generation. External factors include the rising cost of gasoline (at-home
shoppers use less gasoline and reduce environmental pollution), the availability of toll-free
telephone numbers, the expanded use of credit cards, the low cost of data processing, and the
widespread availability of mailing lists.

c. Tools used in Direct Marketing


The major forms of direct marketing include direct-mail marketing, catalogue marketing,
telephone marketing (telemarketing), direct-response television marketing, kiosk marketing,
new digital direct marketing technologies, online marketing and personal (face-to-face) selling.

While many people associate direct marketing with direct mail, direct mail is only one of
several advertising media used by direct marketers. Other major direct marketing media include
the telephone, magazines, newspapers, television, and radio. Alternative media include card
decks, package and bill inserts, and matchbooks. Within the major media, new technological
developments are giving direct marketers a new range of choices from videocassettes (possibly
advertised on television, requested by telephone or interactive computer, and delivered via mail
or alternate delivery services) to home-shopping networks and interactive television.

The Internet and the World Wide Web also have the potential to become major direct marketing
media.

1. Direct mail
The term advertising, or direct mail, is used to refer to communications sent to potential
customers or donors via the postal service and other delivery services. Direct mail is sent to
customers based on criteria such as age, income, location, profession, buying pattern, etc.

Page | 11
Direct mail includes advertising circulars, catalogs, free-trial CDs, pre-approved credit card
applications, and other unsolicited merchandising invitations delivered by mail to homes and
businesses. Bulk mailings are a particularly popular method of promotion for businesses
operating in the financial services, home computer, and travel and tourism industries.

In many developed countries, direct mail represents such a significant amount of the total
volume of mail that special rate classes have been established. In the United States and United
Kingdom, for example, there are bulk mail rates that enable marketers to send mail at rates that
are substantially lower than regular first-class rates. In order to qualify for these rates, marketers
must format and sort the mail in particular ways—which reduces the handling (and therefore
costs) required by the postal service. In the US, marketers send over 90 billion pieces of direct
mail per year.

Advertisers often refine direct mail practices into targeted mailing, in which mail is sent out
following database analysis to select recipients considered most likely to respond positively.
For example, a person who has demonstrated an interest in golf may receive direct mail for
golf-related products or perhaps for goods and services that are appropriate for golfers. This
use of database analysis is a type of database marketing. The United States Postal Service calls
this form of mail "advertising mail".

2. Email marketing
Sending marketing messages through email or email marketing is one of the most widely used
direct-marketing methods. One reason for email marketing's popularity is that it is relatively
inexpensive to design, test, and send an email message. It also allows marketers to deliver
messages around the clock, and to accurately measure responses.

3. Online tools
With the expansion of digital technology and tools, direct marketing is increasingly taking
place through online channels. Most online advertising is delivered to a focused group of
customers and has a trackable response. Display Ads are interactive ads that appear on the Web
next to content on Web pages or Web services. Formats include static banners, pop ups, videos,
and floating units. Customers can click on the ad to respond directly to the message or to find
more detailed information. According to research by e-Marketer, expenditures on online
display ads rose 24.5% between 2010 and 2011. Social Media Sites, such as Facebook and
Twitter, also provide opportunities for direct marketers to communicate directly with
customers by creating content to which customers can respond.

Page | 12
4. Mobile
Through mobile marketing, marketers engage with prospective customers and donors in an
interactive manner through a mobile device or network, such as a cellphone, smartphone, or
tablet. Types of mobile marketing messages include: SMS (short message service)—marketing
communications are sent in the form of text messages, also known as texting. MMS (multi-
media message service)—marketing communications are sent in the form of media messages.

In October 2013, the Federal Telephone Consumers Protection Act made it illegal to contact
an individual via cell phone without prior express written consent for all telephone calls using
an automatic telephone dialing system or a prerecorded voice to deliver a telemarketing
message to wireless numbers and residential lines. An existing business relationship does not
provide an exception to this requirement.

Mobile Applications: Smartphone-based mobile apps contain several types of messages. Push
Notifications are direct messages sent to a user either automatically or as part of a campaign.
They include transactional, marketing, geo-based, and more. Rich Push Notifications are full
HTML Push Notifications. Mobile apps also contain Interactive ads that appear inside the
mobile application or app; Location-Based Marketing: marketing messages delivered directly
to a mobile device based on the user's location; QR Codes (quick-response barcodes): This is
a type of 2D barcode with an encoded link that can be accessed from a smartphone. This
technology is increasingly being used for everything from special offers to product information.
Mobile Banner Ads: Like standard banner ads for desktop Web pages but smaller to fit on
mobile screens and run on the mobile content network

5. Telemarketing
Another common form of direct marketing is telemarketing, in which marketers contact
customers by phone. The primary benefit to businesses is increased lead generation, which
helps businesses increase sales volume and customer base. The most successful telemarketing
service providers focus on generating more "qualified" leads that have a higher probability of
getting converted into actual sales.

6. Voicemail marketing
Voicemail marketing emerged from the market prevalence of personal voice mailboxes, and
business voicemail systems. Voicemail marketing presented a cost effective means by which
to reach people directly, by voice. Abuse of consumer marketing applications of voicemail

Page | 13
marketing resulted in an abundance of "voice-spam", and prompted many jurisdictions to pass
laws regulating consumer voicemail marketing. More recently, businesses have utilized guided
voicemail (an application where pre-recorded voicemails are guided by live callers) to
accomplish personalized business-to-business marketing formerly reserved for telemarketing.
Because guided voicemail is used to contact only businesses, it is exempt from Do Not Call
regulations in place for other forms of voicemail marketing.

Voice-mail courier is a similar form of voice-mail marketing with both business-to-business


and business-to-consumer applications.

7. Broadcast faxing
Broadcast faxing, in which faxes are sent to multiple recipients, is now less common than in
the past. This is partly due to laws in the United States and elsewhere which regulate its use for
consumer marketing. In 2005, President Bush signed into law S.714, the Junk Fax Prevention
Act of 2005 (JFPA), which allows marketers to send commercial faxes to those with whom
they have an established business relationship (EBR), but imposes some new requirements.
These requirements include providing an opt-out notice on the first page of faxes and
establishing a system to accept opt-outs at any time of the day. Roughly 2% of direct marketers
use fax, mostly for business-to-business marketing campaigns.

8. Direct response marketing


Direct Response Marketing is designed to generate an immediate response from consumers,
where each consumer response (and purchase) can be measured, and attributed to individual
advertisements. This form of marketing is differentiated from other marketing approaches,
primarily because there are no intermediaries such as retailers between the buyer and seller,
and therefore the buyer must contact the seller directly to purchase products or services. Direct-
response marketing is delivered through a wide variety of media, including DRTV, radio, mail,
print advertising, telemarketing, catalogues, and the Internet.

9. Direct response mail order


Mail order in which customers respond by mailing a completed order form to the marketer.
Mail order direct response has become more successful in recent years due to internet exposure.

10.Direct response television


Direct marketing via television (commonly referred to as DRTV) has two basic forms: long
form (usually half-hour or hour-long segments that explain a product in detail and are

Page | 14
commonly referred to as infomercials) and short form, which refers to typical 30-second or 60
second commercials that ask viewers for an immediate response (typically to call a phone
number on screen or go to a website). TV-response marketing—i.e. infomercials—can be
considered a form of direct marketing, since responses are in the form of calls to telephone
numbers given on-air. This allows marketers to reasonably conclude that the calls are due to a
particular campaign, and enables them to obtain customers' phone numbers as targets for
telemarketing. One of the most famous DRTV commercials was for Ginsu Knives by Ginsu
Products, Inc. of Rhode Island. Several aspects of ad, such as its use of adding items to the
offer and the guarantee of satisfaction were much copied, and came to be considered part of
the formula for success with short-form direct-response TV ads (DRTV).

Forms of direct response marketing on television include standard short form television
commercials, infomercials and home shopping networks. Short-form direct-response
commercials have time lengths ranging from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Long form infomercials
are typically 30 minutes long. An offshoot of the infomercial is the home shopping industry.
In this medium, items can potentially be offered with reduced overhead.

11.Direct response radio


In direct response radio, ads contain a call to action with a specific tracking mechanism. Often,
this tracking mechanism is a "call now" prompt with a toll-free phone number or a unique Web
URL. Results of the ad can be tracked in terms of calls, orders, customers, leads, sales, revenue,
and profits that result from the airing of those ads.

12.Direct response magazines and newspapers


Magazine and newspaper ads often include a direct response call-to-action, such as a toll-free
number, a coupon redeemable at a brick-and-mortar store, or a QR code that can be scanned
by a mobile device—these methods are all forms of direct marketing, because they elicit a
direct and measurable action from the customer.

13.Other direct response media


Other media, such as magazines, newspapers, radio, social media, search engine marketing and
e-mail can be used to elicit the response. A survey of large corporations found e-mail to be one
of the most effective forms of direct response.

Page | 15
d. Benefits (advantages) of Direct Marketing
There are a range of advantages of direct marketing:

 Builds loyalty – A well-run direct marketing campaign can build brand loyalty by
continual brand messaging on direct marketing channels. This is particularly effective
where multi-channel messaging is used, e.g. Email, direct mail, SMS, etc. all in one
consistent joined-up coherent campaign.
 Direct – As the name suggests this technique is direct. This engagement directly with
the customer eliminates price hikes due to “middle men” and provides a direct
approach. This has benefits as the organization is totally in charge of the contact and
can apply in-house CRM techniques to effectively manage the relationship
 Effective – Direct marketing when managed well has a long-standing reputation for
high profitability and great ROI.
 Monitorable – Tracking and monitoring can be put in place to effectively analyze the
results of a campaign. Strengths can be accentuated and weaknesses eliminated, with a
view that through continual tweaks/enhancements campaign ROI and metrics will only
continue to grow in the medium-long term.
 Personalized and targeted – Direct marketing can be personalized based on actual
experience of working with a customer and/or socio-economic factors. Even for
prospects personalization can achieved through techniques such as customer
segmentation and data profiling.
 Reduced competitor awareness – Competitors will have a much lower level of
awareness with direct marketing as it is direct to the customer. Other marketing
techniques such as TV, Radio, Internet advertising, etc. are public and open to counter-
moves by competition.

Page | 16
e. Limitation of Direct Marketing
There are some disadvantages of direct marketing:

 Environmental impact – Some of the direct marketing channels are associated with
having an environmental impact (most noticeably direct mail). This can be reduced by
targeted direct mail campaigns and using environmentally friendly materials. This
marketing technique is no worse than many indirect marketing methods (e.g. billboard
posters)
 Image impact – It’s a common perception that image can be adversely affected by
some direct marketing campaigns (direct mail and telemarketing in particular). Whilst
this is true for poorly managed campaigns, the effects can be avoided by ensuring
contacts are opted-in and happy to receive marketing messages (which is beat practice
anyway!)
 Limited reach – This is a “perceived” disadvantage of direct marketing to many. The
limited reach is due to the fact that mass broadcast techniques (e.g. TV, Radio, Internet
Advertising, etc.) are not used. Although it’s true the reach is less, the reach achieved
is more specific and targeted. Reach can be extended by buying high-quality targeted
opt-in additional contacts from reputable sources such as Baker Godchild.
 Privacy intrusion – The main drawback of direct marketing is its links with privacy
intrusion (this is particularly related to telemarketing and direct mail). This is definitely
the case with badly managed campaigns and links closely to the image impact above.
Once again with true opt-in consent and best practice campaign management privacy
would not be an issue

Page | 17
3. Direct Marketing and small business
a. Small business.
Becoming a small business owner has unique challenges and rewards that aren’t right for
everyone. You must be driven, disciplined and able to identify a product or service that people
need — one that they will pay enough for to allow you to live comfortably. You have to develop
marketing skills and be able to find your own work, because it won’t fall into your lap until
after you’re well established. Business owners need to understand how to budget, keep records
and handle small business taxes. They must familiarize themselves with employment laws if
they want to hire staff. They also need a plan for protecting their business and everything that’s
tied to it if something goes wrong.

Small Business Offer Better Customer Service

Small businesses have a small client base compared to big box retailers, and they want to keep
their customers. "Small businesses usually need your business more than larger business due
to typically smaller customer bases and smaller markets that they serve and they are more likely
to go above and beyond to add value, which can include more attentive customer service."

Small Businesses Offer Expert Craftsmanship

Whether it's locally grown organic food in a mom-and-pop restaurant or market, handmade
clothing or other retail items, your local small business person is usually sharing their passion
with the world. Hand-hewn furniture might not be as cheap as putting something together
from a big box store prefabricated kit. However, you'll have a quality piece that lasts over
time and might even become a family heirloom.

You might pay less than $300 for a prefabricated pine sideboard you assemble yourself.
You'll save money over the $900 or more that you'll pay for a handmade sideboard crafted
from reclaimed wood, but there's a big difference. Fiberboard backing and drawer bottoms
will warp and start coming apart after a few years and you must eventually replace it. A
handcrafted solid wood item will last for generations.

Page | 18
b. Direct marketing help to boost sales of the small business
Good direct marketing campaigns focus on promoting a specific product or service, and call
on customers to act, register their interest, visit your website, and make a booking or a purchase.

Direct marketing gives small business the opportunity to promote their products and services
directly to the customers who most need them. A good direct marketing campaign will:

 Help small business to build relationships with new customers.


 Test the appeal of their product or service.
 Tell small business which marketing approaches reach your target market.
 Provide customers with compelling content they can share with potential
customers.
 Increase sales.

However, direct marketing campaigns require careful planning and a clear understanding of
responsible direct marketing practice. Being aware of the benefits and challenges of direct
marketing will help small business to use direct marketing effectively.

Using direct marketing allows small business to target specific groups of customers with
tailored messages. By taking the time to research and identify the customers who are most
likely to need or want their products and services, small business can focus their marketing
efforts where they have the highest chance of achieving results.

Direct marketing helps small business to build direct relationships with their customers. They
can personalize promotions, letters and offers to create an immediate link with their customer
and increase their personal connection to their business.

Many businesses combine direct marketing and customer loyalty strategies to keep and build
customer relationships (e.g. by sending birthday cards, discount offers, invites to upcoming
sales).

Page | 19
c. Direct marketing help small business in Oman
Omani Sultanate has been experiencing a growing interest in supporting entrepreneurs and by
providing success to the creative. Oman has been experiencing a weak demand by Omani youth
to take the lead in terms of lack of awareness about the importance of private enterprises.
Legislation and the fight against the bureaucracy of legal transactions associated with such
projects.

There are many legislations and laws enacted to support entrepreneurship projects in the
Sultanate of Oman, and many laws and regulations have been put in place to establish
institutions related to supporting such projects.

Media is one of the cornerstones of any organization or system; it is a key factor in


communicating the objectives, messages and directions of that institution to the various
segments of society. It is the voice of the institution that the public hears. It is also a unit of
measurement for the activity of the institution or its success in achieving its goals and
objectives. The former is the stage of establishing and building the body in all its departments
and sectors; the leadership and since the early stages of its establishment.

These institutions are an important source of income and provide many jobs and contribute to
the exploitation of natural resources. Ultimately in the interest of the general economy

The Omani government realized the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises. It
established a specialized department for the development of small and medium enterprises
under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the most prominent of which was to allow a
number of commercial activities through the house at a rate not exceeding RO 2.5 per year.
One of the most important problems facing the SME sector is finance. Studies published in
Mawwarad show that more than 40% of the institutions have relied on personal and family
financing. The Omani government has introduced a number of financing entities that finance
small, medium and large enterprises, these institutions have special conditions that differ from
each other, and commercial banks have introduced a number of SME financing systems

Page | 20
This is a descriptive research as it will clarify the doubts about the use of
direct marketing in Oman by a small business as a promotional tools. It
would give us a clear picture on the effectiveness and reliability of direct
marketing compared to the other traditional form of promotion.

Data collection
 Secondary data: We collected secondary data from different and various sources like
online reports related to direct marketing.
 Primary data: We collected the primary data by Questionnaire, Personal Interview,
and Interview with Marketing Professional. This method of data collection helped in
gathering opinions of different ages, gender etc.
Basis of sampling:
 Sample should be a user of internet or should have knowledge about internet.
 20 numbers in all.
Sampling Technique:
 Judgmental Non Probability sampling is being used to select the individual units for
better productivity of the questionnaire.

Page | 21
1. Which types of business activity do you own?

agriculture industrial services


4 9 7

Which types of business activity do


you own?

agriculture
20%
35% industrial
services
45%

On the basis of types of business activity, 45% of the respondent’s own industries and (35%)
own services and the last one (20%) agriculture.
2. How many years does your company work?

less than one year from one to two years more than three years
6 5 9

How many years does your


company work?

less than one year


30% from one to two years
45%
more than three years
25%

On the basis of the years of activity (45%) of the respondents are doing business for more than
three years and (30%) less than one year the last one is (25%) from one to two years.

Page | 22
3. Do you use promotion?

Yes No
18 2

Do you use promotion?

10% yes
no

90%

On the basis of the promotion used, we have survived, (90%) they said they use promotion and,
(10%) they said not.
4. Which tool is the most useful to promote your product or services?

Advertising Sales promotion Personal relation Public relation Direct marketing


3 4 6 2 5

Which tool is the most useful to promote


your product or services?

Advertising
25% 15% Sales promotion
20% Personal relation
10%
Public relation
30%
Direct marketing

On the basis of the tools are the most useful to promote your product or services, (30%) use
personal relation, (25%) direct marketing, (20%) sales promotion, (15%) advertising and the
last (10%) public relation.

Page | 23
5. What is the best meaning of direct marketing?

A form of advertising A promotional method A strategy used to create a


personal
2 12 6

What is the best meaning of Direct


Marketing?

10% first
30%
secand
therd
60%

On the basis of the best meaning of Direct marketing (60%) opinioned that promotional
method, (30%) opinioned, Direct marketing is a strategy used to create a personal and
intermediary-free dialogue with customers and the last (10%) viewed Direct marketing is a
form of advertising where organizations communicate directly to customers through a variety
of media.

Page | 24
6. Which factors are the most important in the growth of direct
marketing?

Innovations New Changing The increased costs associated


technologies lifestyle with personal sales calls
3 14 1 2

which factors are the most important in the


growth of direct marketing?
innovations

10% 15% new technologies


5%

changing lifestyle

the increased costa


70% associated with personal
sales calls

On the basis of factors are the most important in the growth of direct marketing (70%) of the
respondents viewed new technologies, (15%) innovations, (10%) the increased costs associated
with personal sales calls and the last (5%) changing lifestyle.

Page | 25
7. Do you consider direct marketing?
cheaper tools to promote target and one to one effective to build
product or services personal tools communication loyalty
way
7 8 3 2

Do you consider direct marketing?


cheaper tools to promote
product or services
10%
target and personal tools
15% 35%

one to one
communication way
40% effective to build loyalty

On the basis of the why companies consider direct marketing, (40%) of the respondents viewed
target and personal tools, (35%) cheaper tools to promote product or services, (15%) one to
one communication way and the last (10%) effective to build loyalty.

Page | 26
8. Which forms of the direct marketing are the most appropriate to
your business?

Facebook Twitter YouTube Blog mail


5 2 8 2 3

Which forms of the direct marketing are the most


appropriate to your business?

Facebook
Mail Twitter
Facebook
15%
Blog 25%
YouTube
10%
Twitter
Blog
10%
YouTube
40% Mail

On the basis of which forms of the direct marketing are the most appropriate to your business
(40%) of the respondents used YouTube, (25%) Facebook, (15%) mail, the last is the same
present between blog and twitter (10%)

Page | 27
9. What is the main objective of your direct marketing?
research platform to high customer generate build community
brand development service leads
5 3 10 0 2

What is the main objective of your direct


marketing?
research
10%
0% 25% platform to high brand
development
customer service
50% 15%

generate leads

On the basis of types of business activity, this chart showing the highest one is customer
services. This may show that all people in direct marketing are using customer services.
10. Is direct marketing adverting beneficial for your business?
Yes May be No
11 5 4

Is direct marketing adverting beneficial for


your business?

yes
20% may be
no
55%
25%

On the basis of types of business activity, most of people agree with the opinion that direct
marketing advertising is useful your business.

Page | 28
11. How do you measure your success/ROL in using direct marketing?
specific parameters viz. like, sales change in brand generating
comments impressions, views etc. sentiment visibility leads
2 9 4 5 0

How do you measure your success/ROL


in using direct marketing?
specific parameters
viz. like, comments
impressions, views
etc
25% 10% sales

20% 45%
change in sentiment

On the basis of types of business activity, most of people agree with the opinion that direct
marketing advertising is useful your business.
12. What are the challenges you face in using direct marketing?
access to marketing services at a reasonable price difficult to convince customer
7 13

What are the challenges you face in


using direct marketing?
access to marketing
services at a reasonable
price
35%
difflicult to convince
65% customer

On the basis of types of business activity, the most successful investment returns in using
direct marketing are change in sentiment.

Page | 29
13. What policies do you wish the government adopts to help SMEs in
their marketing campaigns?

Financial support emerging SME Allocating a percentage of Organize exhibitions


For marketing sized companies purchases by government. / forums
6 7 3 4

What policies the government adopts to help


SMEs in their marketing campaigns?
Financial support
For marketing
20%
30% emerging small and
medium sized companies
15%
allocating a percentage of
purchases by ministries
35% and government.

On the basis of government policies adopts to help SMEs in their marketing campaigns, we
have survived (35%) for emerging small and medium sized companies, and (30%) for Financial
support (Rafad), (20%) to Organize exhibitions and forums, and the last (15%) to allocating a
percentage of purchases by ministries and government.

Page | 30
Direct marketing is the cheaper way to promote a product or services. Direct marketing is one
to one communication way. There are many benefits when they use direct marketing such as
builds loyalty, direct, effective, monitor able, personalized and reduced competitor awareness
also there are limitation of direct marketing, such as environmental impact, image impact,
limited reach and privacy intrusion. Most of people are use promotion for their business. At
the same time, the most tools they used to promote their product or services is direct marketing
and public relation. Direct marketing has many forms but the most appropriate to their business
is YouTube.

There is the challenge they face in using direct marketing is difficult to convince customer and
access to marketing services at a reasonable price.

Page | 31
As the project clarified the members choose direct marketing can help small business and the
mail objective of doing the project are to understanding how direct marketing are used by small
business to communicate with customer about product also to evaluating the different tools of
direct marketing and to discovering the various reasons that encourage small business in Oman
to use direct marketing in their promotional activities.

And the reason of doing the project is to get the final result for the questionnaire also to have
enough information that may help us which is based on our research.

Every success company will have some problems if the company wants to develop itself, so
from our research, they face some limitations of direct marketing such as environmental
impact, image impact, limited reach and privacy intrusion.

Our recommendations are:

1) Avoid bad image impacts by improve reputation and ensure that recipients receive
marketing messages.

2) The main drawback of direct marketing is links with privacy and direct mail which
related to telemarketing, so with true opt-in consent and best practice campaign
management privacy would not be an issue and we recommend to working with a high-
standard direct marketing agency.

Page | 32