Where advertising is about selling an ‘idea’, Direct Marketing really is about selling the actual product – as many as possible, as quickly as possible.
Direct Marketing Jobs
Is it for you?
In a Direct Marketing role, you'll be promoting products, services and brands to increase sales. You'll need to constantly find new ways to reach your target audiences, including in-store displays, special events, direct mailings and advertising. You’ll need an excellent knowledge of marketing and you’ll mostly be working under pressure as promotions and special deals have strict starting dates when everything has to be made ready. It’s fast-paced and there’s no room for getting it wrong as everything relates to the bottom line.
You’ll be a good organizer and time keeper as well as being creative and your work will involve meeting with clients to discuss products and services, devising marketing ideas, keeping projects on budget and making sure all campaigns run smoothly. Responsibility generally stops with you.
Qualifications and Skills
To start, you’ll need some grounding in marketing, perhaps as a marketing assistant or as an account handler in an advertising or sales promotions company. Your basic qualities will need to be an ability to get things done and pull arious disciplines together.
You’ll be working with designers, sales managers, agency people, media sellers, transport and delivery people etc to get your direct marketing campaigns up and running. Added to all this will be a need to be able make the figures add up.
Formally, you could take a degree or BTEC HND in a relevant subject such as advertising, marketing, business studies and management or psychology. You could find your first job under a graduate training scheme within a sales promotions agency. Later on you can gain a qualification from the Institute of Sales Promotion (ISP) such as an ISP Diploma in Promotional Marketing. Institute of Direct Marketing (IDM) also offers part-time qualifications.
Free CV Templates
Opportunities and salaries
A lot of direct marketing has gone online but the essential rules remain the same, you’re looking to build sales volume and develop databases of customers. Most of this work is done by agencies that offer clients a range of services including sales promotion, direct marketing and advertising. Whilst the bigger agencies are based in towns and cities – many specialist direct marketing agencies can be found almost anywhere and thanks to the internet there are many of them.
Starting off as a junior account handler in a sales promotions agency will typically offer you £18k upwards, rising rapidly (if you’re good at it) to £25k upwards. In senior positions you can expect £60k upwards and in fast moving global agencies you’ll find greater rewards and fast-track promotion working for large scale direct marketing campaigns.