Meaning: direct marketing (DM) is the process by which a firm approaches its customers on one to one basis and markets its products directly to them. In conventional marketing a firm approaches the customer on a mass basic and sells to them directly.direct marketing association of USA has defined direct marketing as "an interactive system of marketing which uses one or more advertising media to effect a measurable response and\or transaction at any location.an analysis of this definition brings out three key elements namely.
1. interactive system: it is an interactive system in the sense that there is a two way communication between the marketer and his\her target market. The response or non response of the customer completes the communication loop in the direct marketing programme. For example when the customer fills in the response coupon in an advertisement or a catalogue and mails it he\she communicates to the marketer and hence complets the communication loop.
2. Measurability of response: another element is measurability of response as mentioned above the number of coupons received indicates the response rate to the marketer's communication.
3. Transaction at any location: direct marketing activities are not location specific it is not necessary for the customer to physically interact with the marketer he\she can establish a contact through mail phone fax or the internet.