Are Direct and Indirect Advertising Equally Effective

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Are direct and indirect advertising equally effective?


The objective of this research is to analyze the direct and indirect advertising and this research checks the effectiveness of both indirect and direct advertising.

Research Questions

This research would cover certain questions which are listed below:

  • What is advertising?
  • What is direct and indirect advertising?
  • What are the different methods used in direct and indirect advertising?
  • What is the effectiveness of both the methods?
  • Are both of them equally important?

Structure of the report

The report consists of certain chapters which are discussed below:

  • Chapter: 1 Introduction

This chapter introduces the main aspects of the research. This chapter includes title and the objective of the research. The questions of research are designed in such a way that it gives complete information about the research and what areas are covered in this research.

  • Chapter: 2 Literature review

This chapter gives detailed information about direct and indirect effects of advertising and both these mediums are discussed in detail.

  • Chapter: 3 Research Methodologies

The research methodology that is used in the research is discussed in this chapter. Although there are different methods of doing the research that is the reason why primary sources and secondary sources are used in this paper.

  • Chapter: 4Results and Findings

The findings and of the results are included in this chapter and all the results that are achieved are interpreted into meaningful form for further research and analysis.

  • Chapter: 5Discussion

Primary research is mainly discussed in this chapter and the responses of employees are evaluated.

  • Chapter: 6Conclusion

The research report is concluded in the last chapter and limitations of the research.

  • Chapter: 7Recommendations

Certain recommendations are discussed in this chapter.

  • Chapter: 8List of references
  • Chapter: 9Appendix

Literature Review

Organizations of today’s world stress a lot on advertising and they spend a hefty amount of money each year on advertising. It is basically a form of communication that is used the persuading people and especially potential customers to consume a certain product, service, or brand. Strategists of the modern world believe that advertising possesses the ability to produce a direct relationship of advertising with the sales of the organization. As the production capacities of the organization increased organization focused more on increasing the customer base and for this, they opted for advertising. Advertising is done on different mediums like television, cinema, radio, billboards, etc.

Money spent on advertising has increased dramatically in recent years and the spending on advertising in the United Kingdom has reached a staggering figure of $120 million (Parente, 2005). However, the phenomenon of advertising globally is increasing and organizations are spending a lot on advertising because they believe that advertisement can benefit them in both the short and the long run. In the current era, different companies are progressing just through advertising. An online organization in United Kingdom Rightmove ( ) reported that its profits are increasing just because of the fact that it invested heavily in online advertising. This organization of the UK experienced growth and still is in its growing phase. Strategists suggest that right movers are not alone and another organization is growing quite rapidly and statistics suggest that online advertising in the United Kingdom has increased to 30% as compared to the previous years. These statistics depict that the growth of organizations that stresses advertising would be double-digit by the end of 2010 (Felton, 2006). In this paper, we will discuss different aspects of advertising and would evaluate the advertising scenario of the United Kingdom.

Direct and indirect advertising is of equal importance from an organizational perspective but it all depends upon the structure of organizations. Direct advertising is basically advertising on a larger scale through different promotional messages that are used with the mediums like internet, fax, mail, or telephone (Arens, Weigold, & Arens, 2008). Similarly, indirect advertising involves the phenomenon of marketing through people and different people promote the organization’s product or service. Furthermore, promoting the products through wide-reaching advertising and social networks is also termed indirect advertising. The core concept of both types of advertising is promotion but the methodologies of promotion are different.

Indirect advertising is widely used in today’s world and organizations usually use indirect advertising when selling a luxury i.e. a high-priced item. The strategies that are mostly used by indirect advertisers are mostly related to promotion through an intermediary. Direct advertising is also closely related to the phenomenon of an individual going from person to person to market the product or service. In indirect advertising, customers get a chance to directly coordinate with the sales team and foster the sales of an organization (Kerin, Hartley, & Rudelius, 2008). However, a direct form of advertising is considered to be the common form of advertising but it is considered to be an effective element in the promotional arsenal of an organization. The core strategies of direct advertising include cold calling to the prospects, marketing through the internet through emails and newsletters, using television for marketing products and services, and other related mediums. However, advertisers believe that direct-mail advertising and internet marketing is considered to be the most effective and price-effective strategy.

Research Methodologies

The process of conducting research is quite crucial and the process of selection of a particular approach is equally important. This process must be initiated in the planning and evaluation stage of the research. Different schools of thought are used by researchers to achieve target research objectives. Throughout the years there have been many suggestions pertaining to different types of methods of research applied to varying fields which have been applied by research professionals for the purpose of reaching their objectives and targets and provide support in the process of making informed and high-quality decisions. The research design actually determines the methodologies to conduct proper research but still, certain constraints are involved in researches which must be understood when making a decision regarding a research approach. Different research approaches are discussed below and every research methodology is evaluated briefly (Creswell, 2008).

There are two main methods of research that are used in the research process. These two methods are the qualitative approach and the quantitative approach. In this research-oriented project qualitative approach is used because qualitative research deals with the issues related to human behavior and the reasons that govern such behavior. Similarly, the qualitative approach deals with in-depth study and analysis of the subject in review (Ketchen, 2007). The purpose of not using a quantitative approach is because the subject under review is of descriptive nature and quantifying the subject is not possible. It usually involves self-participation, interviews, observations, and gathering of data and finally carrying out analysis. Qualitative research can be implemented via deductive and inductive approach

The research strategy that is used in this research would be the deductive approach. The core purpose of using this strategy is to basically test the hypothesis that both direct and indirect advertising is equally effective for an organization. The hypothesis is evaluated and the key pieces of research are collected through the analysis of secondary sources. Data is collected through different sources and usually, there are two methods of data collection both of these methods are discussed below:

Primary Data

Primary data consists of firsthand knowledge and Primary data is the data collected for the specific purpose of the current research and is data that did not exist in the past, prior to the current research. In this research primary data is used in the form of questionnaires that are distributed through direct mails.

Secondary Data

The secondary data is collected through different books, articles, magazines, peer-reviewed journals and etc. The data that is collected through secondary sources have already been published and it actually exists prior to this research. The data through secondary sources are collected and presented for a different objective from the objectives and aims of the current research. This means that the data will differ from what the researcher actually requires for his or her research. Availability of data can be considered as a major issue in the collection of secondary data. However, secondary data can also be accessed quickly and saves the researcher a large amount of time (Fowler, 2008).

There are certain limitations that are attached with this research. The methodology prescribed and implemented for this research has its limitations due to its subjectivity to certain issues which are necessary to be underlined in the following in order to define the scope of the current thesis and set out the basis for the results that this report will conclude upon. The results of this research are therefore subject to the understanding of the writer and any recommendations made through this report are subject to the understanding of the reader and this should be viewed in light of its limitations and subjectivity.

Results and Findings

Through secondary and primary research we came to know that both direct and indirect advertising are effective for an organization. However, the strategies that are used by organization vary from company to company and the nature of product and service. Both direct and indirect advertising is beneficial for an organization and researchers say that if the objectives are of commercial nature then the organization in the long run would test that whether it is getting appropriate results from a particular weight of advertising or not.

The benefits and the effectiveness of direct advertising are wide and varied and although the costs are high but the mediums are quite effective. The benefits of direct advertising that are advertised by different researchers and studies are that direct advertisements are targetable, interactive, personal, measureable and flexible. Pin point accuracy is achieved through direct advertising and the prospect has the option to respond directly in a number of ways. In certain mediums like cold calling and direct mailing you have one on one contact with the customer therefore the representatives can respond quickly (Sissors & Baron, 2002). Similarly, the results that are achieved from direct advertising are measured quite accurately and the aspects of direct advertising can be tailored with respect to the needs of the organization.

The brand gets more promotion through direct advertisement and researchers believe that life of a brand is extended through effective direct advertisement. The direct advertising in more leaned towards the persons who are marketed directly in the form of letters or through other means. The effectiveness of direct advertising is increasing day by day and organizations are opting new and modernized methods to sell their products. Organizations like Dell, Intel, IBM and etc in certain cases uses direct advertising mediums and they increase their customer base through cold calling and sending direct mails to the prospect customers (Rowse & Fish, 2005). Organizations comment a lot on direct advertising effectiveness because the results of direct advertising are calculated and measured in no time and companies can easily evaluate the effectiveness of this medium. A brand activation activity which includes setting up of stalls that directly sells an organizations product and service is also considered as a viable strategy for different organizations.

In the case of indirect advertising different mediums like television, radio, internet advertising, magazines, cinema and etc are used. The effectiveness of indirect advertising varied from medium to medium and the quality of the advertisement. However, nearly all the mediums in indirect advertising are costly especially television. But the results that are generated from indirect adverting are more effective than direct advertising. However the calculation of the results is a time taking process in indirect advertising. Different advantages can be attained through television, radio and newspaper advertising which in a broader perspective is known as indirect advertising (Drewniany & Jewler, 2007). The basic advantages of television advertisement are an organization can reach large number of people through national and regional level in a short period of time. In the scenario of radio and newspaper advertisement organizations can target a large audience at a low cost.

Therefore, through secondary research we came to know that both the direct and indirect advertisements are effective for an organization but it totally depends upon the nature of product and services. Similarly the costs allocated for advertisement also defines which strategy an organization must pursue. If an organization possesses a low budget then it should go for direct marketing strategy because such an organization must be looking for the return on advertisement investment that is the reason why such an organization should implement a direct approach. On the other hand if an organization possesses high advertisement budget then it should opt both the strategies because the effectiveness of both the strategies are equal (Bowder, 2008).


The sample that we have evaluated in this research is based on convenience sampling and the questionnaires (See Appendix) were distributed to 2 different companies Avon and Body shop. 50 questionnaires were distributed in both the companies and only 10 people responded back. The results that were attained from this primary research are relatively same as the secondary research.

Employees of both the organizations believe that advertising is necessary for their brand and if they want long term success and stability then they have to pursue effective advertisement strategies.

The employees of Avon stresses on the fact that direct and indirect advertisements are both essential for an organization and nearly all the respondents claims that their organization engage in direct advertising and they mostly use direct mailing and one-to-one selling approaches in direct advertising. A number of respondents that belong to Avon believed that in today’s world indirect advertisement is quite costly in nature and organizations are sometimes reluctant in using indirect advertising because of its cost. But some of the employees believe that the effective long term effects of indirect advertising are more than direct advertising and that is the reason why it’s more effective in nature. Organizations prefer using television and newspaper to reach a massive amount of audience and therefore the cost of these mediums are high.

On the other hand the employees of Body Shop believed that both direct and indirect advertising strategies are equally important. The effectiveness of both the strategies is equal. The employees through questionnaire reported that Body shop is engaged in direct advertising and they use personal selling to sell their cosmetics. They organize certain exhibitions in which they sell their products directly to their customers. Employees agree with the fact that the cost of indirect advertisement is quite but Body Shop can target their target market in an effective and an efficient way. The mediums that are used by Body shop are television, newspaper and magazines. Moreover they are involved in internet advertising too. The respondents of the body shop have answered the final question in a detailed manner and they believe that both direct and indirect adverting is effective for an organization and it is equally important. Organizations have to balance both these aspects and it totally depends upon the advertising budget and the nature of product in selecting either direct or indirect advertising.


Organizations stresses a lot on advertising and that is the reason why the trend of advertising is increasing and people are adopting new and modernized methods in promoting their products and services. Successful organizations are those that implement proper strategies for targeting their customers and increasing their customer base. Secondary research and questionnaires suggests that both direct and indirect advertising is equally important for an organization and organizations must devise their strategies regarding advertisement when they are choosing the type of advertisement for their organization. The applications of this research are wide and varied and other organizations and researchers can benefit from the findings of this research. However, the shortcomings of this project are the time constraint present in this research. Similarly, the viability of secondary sources cannot be guaranteed and it is possible that employees of both the companies didn’t give appropriate answers to the questions


Organizations mission and vision must be kept in mind when devising the advertising strategies for an organization. Both direct and indirect advertisement is equally important for an organization that is the reason why organizations should pursue both the strategies in promoting their products and services. However, emphasis must be laid on the advertisement objective and after evaluating the proper budget certain strategic measures must be taken like calculating the figures in such a way that investing in indirect or direct advertising would bring a change in the revenues of an organization. Further research can be conducted on the effects of direct and indirect advertisements on different organizations and the long term effects of indirect advertisement on organizations.

List of References

Arens, W., Weigold, M., & Arens, C. (2008). Contemporary Advertising. McGraw Hill Higher Education.

Bowder, R. (2008). Basics Advertising: Copywriting. AVA Publishing.

Creswell, D. (2008). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Sage Publications.

Drewniany, B., & Jewler, A. (2007). Creative Strategy in Advertising. Wadsworth Publishing.

Felton, G. (2006). Advertisng:Concept and copy. W.W. Norton & Co.

Fowler, F. (2008). Survey Research Methods. Sage Publications.

Kerin, R., Hartley, S., & Rudelius, W. (2008). Marketing: The Core. McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Ketchen, D. (2007). Research Methodology in Strategy and Management. JAI Press.

Parente, D. (2005). Advertising Campaign Strategy: A Guide to Marketing Communication Plans. South-Western College.

Rowse, E., & Fish, L. (2005). Fundamentals of Advertising. Kessinger Publishing.

Sissors, J., & Baron, R. (2002). Advertising Media Planning. McGraw-Hill.

Appendix: Questionnaire

S Questions Possible Answers Answers
1 Name
2 Age
3 Occupation
4 Designation
5 Marital Status Single/ Married/ Divorced/ Widowed
6 Name of your organization
8 What methods are generally used by your organization for the advertisements of products?
9 Does your organization engage in direct advertising strategies? If yes then what methods do they prefer?
10 Indirect advertisement is an effective medium but it involves more cost? Do you agree with this?
11 What is more effective in your opinion direct or indirect advertising?

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