Historically, direct marketing was the first area of marketing communication that adopted an integrated marketing approach. In fact, some people refer to direct marketing as integrated direct marketing (IDM).

Two reasons integration plays so well in the direct-response market are because of its emphasis on the customer and its measurability. The coordination problem is a challenge due to the deluge of data bombarding customers from many different channels. The only way to manage the information is to focus it around customer needs and interests. By using databases, companies can become more sensitive to customer wants and needs and less likely to bother them with unwanted commercial messages.

Instead of treating each medium separately, as some advertising agencies tend to do, direct marketing companies seek to achieve precise, synchronized use of the right media at the right time, with a measurable return on dollars spent. The principle behind integration is that not all people respond the same way to direct-response messages.

A common problem with integrating direct marketing is that direct-response marketing messages and advertising messages often do not reinforce each other as well as they should. This is because the two functions, advertising and direct-response marketing, which are often handled by different agencies, do not talk to one another. This will change, however, as clients demand more coordination of their marketing communication programs.

Review online a specific brand of hotel, cruise line, or theme park.

1. Provide the name and website of the company you have chosen to discuss.

2. Identify what direct marketing strategies the company employs.

3. Describe one strategy you believe is effective.

4. What would you suggest as a direct response tool that is not presently being used by the company and that might be effective in helping the brand? How would it help?

 
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