In spite of the increasing use of the internet, particularly emails in marketing, telemarketing is still relevant. Telemarketing is simply marketing over the telephone. Most telemarketing calls are "cold calls," that is, calls made to a prospect when he/she has not requested for it. Due to its often out-the-blue approach of people who may not find it pleasant, telemarketing is one of the most controversial types of marketing. However, its main purpose to make a sale or at least introduce the product or service.
Though, it can quite effective, telemarketing is mainly used as a component of an integrated marketing campaign. It supplements advertising and direct marketing campaigns. It can be used to handle a number of different tasks:
- Direct sales to prospect over the phone
- Maintain contact with current customer
- Generating leads from unqualified mailing lists
- Following up direct marketing programmes
- carrying out market research, using surveys to establish consumer response to products or side incentives
- Winning back lapsed customers by introducing them to new products that may be of greater interest following up leads generated through advertising or direct marketing or via intermediaries
- maintaining contact with customers as part of a relationship marketing programme
Telemarketing also can provide a point of response for queries generated through advertising or direct marketing campaigns or to obtain information from respondent as a basis for future database marketing.
But if it is done unprofessionally, telemarketing can ruin the gains of advertising and every other marketing effort. This is because experience is always more powerful, and is engraved in the memory, more than information. So a telemarketer must be grounded in professional telephone etiquettes.