Discusses the state of direct marketing and what channels are available for companies to use direct marketing.
Until recently, direct marketing in Pakistan was limited to direct mail advertising, with leading pharmaceutical firms, banks, and large publishing groups as major users. Pharmaceutical companies employed direct mail to reach out to doctors, hospitals, and medical professionals. Publishers used direct mail to reach out to their existing subscribers of magazines and publications for repeat business and banks used this tool to market their consumer banking products. However, the inception of telemarketing and the increased usage of courier services along with internet and mobile phones have recently broadened the scope of direct marketing.
The concept of direct marketing is gradually gaining acceptance in the Pakistani marketplace, driven by several multinational companies. The low cost of domestic mail, email campaigns, and local cell phone calls makes this a potentially cost-effective sales medium. The major drawbacks to direct marketing in Pakistan are the lack of readily available mailing lists with up-to-date contact information, and the paucity of reports on consumer preferences. These limitations make it difficult to target and reach the intended audience. Efficient mail and courier services are now available in all major urban and semi-urban areas of the country.
U.S. companies considering direct marketing in Pakistan should take local customs and cultural values into consideration before launching a campaign. The use of a local advertising agency is advisable in implementing the direct marketing option. A few advertising agencies have separate direct marketing departments.