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Direct Marketing in the 3rd World
By Ray Jutkins   Printer Friendly Version

The United Nations says Pakistan is a third world country. In short that means they qualify for all sorts of aid and assistance from the rest of us.

All this may be true...yet on my two most recent visits to Pakistan I have clearly seen that the business community is most certainly NOT third world.

To me this is most interesting...as many other such places around the globe "enjoy" this special status. In some the game seems to be NOT to grow out of the bottom rung ranking. Not so in Pakistan.

Friend Ozair Hanafi is an excellent example. Ozair is the Managing Driector of Orient Direct, a McCann-Erickson company.

Ozair began in mainstream advertising 26 years ago. His leadership took him to the chair of the Marketing Association of Pakistan for three terms.

In 1991 he founded Orient Direct, and bagan Pakistan's first direct marketing agency. About this time last year Ozair decided Pakistan was ready for a true direct marketing conference. So, he organized just such an event...where I was fortunate enough to be one of the keynote presentors.

It was an amazing event. And extremely successful.

Because of his personal involvement in direct marketing, his speeches on the subject and his agency, Ozair is known in Pakistan as "Mr. Direct Marketing". From his own lips, here is how he defines the discipline:

  • "Direct Marketing is any marketing activity which creates and sustains a measurable direct relationship between you and your prospect or customer.
  • "Direct Marketing is based on a strategy of one to one.
  • "It is not just a medium like Direct Mail. It is not just a channel of distribution like Mail Order. It is these and more. It is a way of marketing, it is a method of Marketing.
  • "Direct Marketing empowers you to capture and capitalise on customers and adds profits to almost any business large or small.
  • "The most important word in Direct Marketing is 'measurable'. For if response can not be measured; if cost and income cannot be weighed and assessed, it's not direct marketing!
  • "Direct Marketing is the best way to win and maintain customers."

Sound familiar? Certainly does to me! You need not have a degree from Oxford or Harvard to know that direct marketing is really a basic, easy to understand business concept. And those concepts are applicable everywhere.

Let's listen to more of what Ozair has to say:

  • "Through Direct Marketing we generate a dialogue between our prospect and ourselves.
  • "Direct Marketing is Relationship Marketing. It is affinity marketing.
  • "Before approaching a customer or a prospect, we gather enough information about him or her. We have the profile of the customer before us.
    By knowing as much about him as we should we trigger the right response from our prospect."

Over the last couple of decades there have been a number of big name DM guru's who have predicted direct response marketing was on the cutting edge of pushing general advertising out the door. Not an idea I have ever subscribed to...never-the-less every other year or two someone says just that.

Let's listen to how "Mr. Direct Marketing" in Pakistan looks at general and direct, and their place in the marketing mix:

  • "In mass advertising we are busy in a monologue. In Direct Marketing we generate a dialogue.
  • "Direct Marketing should be used, as a key component for developing and designing the total Marketing Strategy of an organisation.
  • "Mass marketing has its own value. Direct Marketing helps mass marketing in measuring results. We don't tell our clients, 'do this but don't do that'. It's not at all like that.
  • "What we suggest is that, Direct Marketing is as important as the rest of the media. We are not here to replace the electronic or the print media.
    "In fact, Direct Marketing is here to support the total marketing programme of the marketeer to get the right results in a cost-effective manner.
  • "We have to see everything in its totality, and always keep the consumers' interest supreme.
  • "We have to remember that it is the 'human element' that gives the desired depth and dimension to effective marketing, and this comes about through Direct Marketing"

Let's end this mini-introduction to direct marketing in Pakistan with a view of the future...from Ozair:

  • "We believe that direct marketing can flourish in a society such as ours. The future is bright. It is going to grow with the economy.
  • "We would love to have as many players in the field as possible. So there is competition. Because that is what will help us improve. The more the merrier. It will provide us with more opportunities."

Great attitude from a fine gentleman. Maybe YOU should plan a visit to Pakistan during an upcoming symposium. To learn more about upcoming programs, write:

Ozair A. Hanafi
Managing Director
ORIENT DIRECT (PVT) LTD.
195-A, SMHS
Karachi 74400 PAKISTAN

Telephone +92+21+455-7440 or 455-9978
Fax +92+21+455-0187


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