You all must have heard about traditional marketing. Telemarketing is one of the types of it.
Let’s understand what exactly does telemarketing mean.
It means making a sales pitch or to potential consumers or existing consumers or to handle queries of the customers over the telephone. But as technology developed, it is also done over web conferencing scheduled via telephone
WHAT’S IN IT
- History of telemarketing
- Categories of telemarketing
- Advantages and disadvantages
- Laws regarding telemarketing around the world
- Some similar terms
History of Telemarketing
No one ever thought the telephone could be used for marketing and not just for giggles when it was invented.
Even though today we view telemarketers negatively and often ignore their calls, it started simple. Let’s learn about it.
How it began
Not by men, but a group of women came up with the idea of telemarketing. How?
Once upon a time, some housewives baked cookies and wanted to sell them. So they started calling people around to find potential customers for their cooking.
And that’s how telemarketing was born!
They continued doing this process to make connections and fortune.
The telemarketers started to get professional training, and receptionists started operating the giant switchboards to connect calls to correct extensions manually, by the mid-60s.
By the 1970s, this industry became popular, and till the date, many companies use this method.
How and when did people start misunderstanding it
Everything that has been invented so far is made for the good, but we are the ones who find ways to make bad use of it.
The same happened with telemarketing when in the late 1990s, annual fraud costs exploded; unknown people started calling innocent customers to gather information and cheat them for thousands of dollars, known as spam callers.
Till now, people do that, but as people and companies are becoming smarter, people don’t fall easily for it, and the companies also issue various guidelines to avoid these spam calls.
Categories of Telemarketing activities
There are two major categories:
Business to business:
Business to business telemarketing or B2B marketing means when one transacts with another business either to sell or to build linkage between the companies.
Businesses use B2B to create brand awareness and to build credibility among existing and future clients.
Business to consumers:
Business to consumers or B2C telemarketing is done to target potential customers without the middlemen directly.
For instance, Apple sells its products with the best deals for its customers at only their outlets.
There are also some of the subcategories of telemarketing, and they are:
- Lead generation: In this form, the telemarketers first collect their customers’ information and then contact them.
- Sales: It involves persuasion techniques by the salesperson to make sales.
- Inbound marketing: Inbound marketing means the calls of inquiry for the products/services that the marketers receive.
- Outbound marketing: It is opposite of inbound marketing as the trained marketers themselves reach out to potential customers to make sales.
Advantages and Disadvantages of telemarketing
|One of the most important benefits of telemarketing is that it involves one to one interaction with the customer, which helps to build a connection with that customer, which leads to sales.||Due to its bad history of spamming, people do not want to interact with the telemarketers.|
|It is flexible as it lets the businesses know about their customers’ needs and when they are ready to buy through a quick survey over the phone.||As malpractices are increasing in telemarketing, the government has implemented strict measures against it.|
|As it saves money and time, it became the best tool for marketing for small businesses.||Outsourcing can prove to be expensive, and the company has less control over it.|
|As the sales pitch is done over the phone, the business can increase their sales territory.||As there’s no visual contact with the customers, it’s difficult to see their reactions and act accordingly.|
|The amateur telemarketers can develop their skills, such as their opening script through cold-calling.||The conversation over the phone has short memories.|
Laws regarding Telemarketing around the world
Due to increasing malpractices in this industry, different countries’ governments made some stringent rules regarding telemarketing to protect innocent customers.
United States of America
Inside the united states, telemarketing is confined in the national level from calling Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991 along with also the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), that has been organised in 2003, 2008, 2010 and 2015.
This change gives effect into this Consumer and snobby and Abuse Prevention Act (TCFPA), exactly enjoy the initial TSR issued in 1995.
Some key feature of this Act are:
- The TCPA prohibits telemarketers from phoning before 8 am and after 9 pm.2.
- The commission adopted further alterations to specifically deal with the use of pre-recorded messages from telemarketing calls, also from 2008.
- To address descriptive and abusive practices associated with depth relief services, the commission for the amended TSR in August 2010.
- And also, TSR prohibited the use of remotely created payment orders and cheques, cash to cash transfers, and cash reload mechanism in both outbound and inbound telemarketing, in 2015
There’s also a Do Not Call registry, which gives the residents the right to prohibit the call from any telemarketer.
If the registered consumers get any call from a telemarketer, they can file a complaint against them.
But there are some exceptions to this registry.
- Calls from business entities who have your written permission.
- Phone calls from NPOs (Non-profit Organisations).
- Calls from political organizations and telephone surveys.
- Calls from businesses with which you have dealt with (although there is a provision for removal from your call list).
The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) regulates telemarketing in Canada.
They also have a Do Not Call List (DNCL) in which the Canadians can register their numbers and prohibits any call from the telemarketers.
Any person registered with DNCL if receives a call from the telemarketers can file a complaint against them to the DNCL, and the DNCL then forward the
Complaints to CRTC who further take action against the guilty.
Australian government (AFG) controls in Australia. It supplies limitation in predicting for equally investigation and marketing and advertising calls for.
Back in Australia, the Do-Not-Call Register has been created in 2007 for multinational phone amounts.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997 was formed with the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010, to govern the telemarketing practices in India.
On 3rd July 2007, the Reserve Bank of India issued a notification in respect to unsolicited commercial calls, whereby RBI made it compulsory for every such telemarketer making unsolicited calls to register themselves.
The calling hours for telemarketers in India is between 9 am-9 pm. There’s also a National DNC registry for those who don’t want any calls from telemarketers.
Some Similar terms related to telemarketing
Telesales means selling a product or services directly to customers over the phone. It is often confused with telemarketing.
But the two have some differences, and, i.e., telemarketing is a broader concept and involves not only sales but also many other factors like providing information, collecting feedback, etc.
But on the other hand, telesales is a narrower concept and is related to sales only.
Tele calling simply means BPO. It means providing customer services, solving their queries regarding products and services over the phone.
It involves two-aspect sales and customer service.
Companies set up their call-centres to solve their customer’s queries in countries that provide cheap labour like India.
Teleshopping is different from telemarketing in the sense that it means shopping for a product over the phone. For instance, when we see a product on channels like Naaptol on T.V and place an order for it over the phone, then it is known as teleshopping.
Cold-calling simply means calling new prospects over the phone to make sales. Another name for cold-calling is outbound marketing.
To summarize, it can be said that despite its bad history, many companies still depend on telemarketing because:
- It generates sales leads for the company.
- It helps the company to get feedback from the customers
- The BPOs help them to satisfy their customer’s queries
- Helps to collect important information about the customers
- It is an efficient way to keep in touch with customers
As both the companies and government are taking stringent measures to protect the customers against the malpractices done by the spam callers, it reduced the chances of fraudulent activities.
That’s why we can consider telemarketing a safe and efficient way to promote the product by taking proper measures.
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