Discusses the state of direct marketing and what channels are available for companies to use direct marketing.
Direct marketing is not widely practiced in Saudi Arabia. Personal relations between vendors and customers play a more important role than in the West. Furthermore, many forms of direct marketing practiced in the United States are unacceptable due to Islamic precepts regarding gender segregation and privacy at home. Limitations in the Saudi postal system are also a constraint, though a new mail delivery system called Wasel delivers mail and parcels to residences. Direct marketing has been conducted on a very limited basis using unsolicited mail campaigns and fax, catalog sales (with local pick-up or delivery arranged), and commercials on satellite television providing consumers with a local telephone number to arrange delivery. Direct marketing through instant messaging is also gaining in popularity among franchisees and others to promote their products and increase sales.