business support teamTelemarketing is a form of marketing, which occurs over the phone between a salesperson and a consumer.  The salesman solicits products and services via this means of communication.  Today, pre-recorded voices also solicit this information over the telephone.  While early 2000 demonstrated results of an almost $300 billion industry, telemarketing is declining this day in age.

The first company to ever use this means of marketing was called DialAmerica Marketing, Inc. during the 1950s.  This entity made profits by inbound and outbound solicitations.  This company remained until 1976, when it was “spun-off” and sold by Time, Inc. magazine.  It acted as one of “the largest providers of telephone sales and services for magazine publishing companies (1).”

Although successful in the beginning, today, this industry has died down.  People do not like to be bombarded with solicitations during dinner.  “Ninety eight percent of 1.78 million responding to one on-line survey said telemarketing calls made them “angry (3).” Scams and fraudulent acts have been committed over the telephone and consumers are untrusting of such companies, which employ this means of marketing.

The government has further put restrictions and regulations on the telemarketing industry to protect consumers.  In 1991, Congress passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which requires companies using this means of marketing to abide by certain rules and codes of ethics.  Further, these restrictions have led to the “National Do Not Call” list—a list of consumers and an agreement by telemarketers to refrain from contacting such individuals on said list.  In the event of breaching or violating this contract, said telemarketers are punishable under law.  Of course, telemarketing companies have said this infringes on rights of commercial speech; however, the courts have still continued to uphold this list.

While the telemarketing industry has made claims of high volume sales, ranging in the $600 billions some years, these numbers have been questioned and criticized, as the U.S. Census shows differently.  In October of this year, First Research illustrated 5,000 companies, totaling $15 billion in revenue as a whole.  Clearly, the trends have changed and this industry is declining.

Some companies still make money from this industry, as evidenced in the $15 billion above.  Infomercials often display contact numbers for consumers across the television screen, and these inbound calls often lead to sales.  This seems to be the primary way in which telemarketing companies are bringing in revenue.

There will probably always be use of telemarketing to some degree.  For instance, companies solicit to consumers who wait on hold when they dial in for customer service.  Companies use the telephone to send out automated messages, regarding scheduled service visits.  Political parties send out messages, encouraging voters to get to the polls during elections.  Schools contact students to let them know about schedule changes, such as delays or cancellations.  Further, colleges, police departments, fire departments, and more use the telemarketing to ask for donations.  Charities rely heavily on telemarketing for these same donations, as they do not possess funds to market other ways.  Also, the market research industry relies heavily on reaching consumers via telephone, in order to get their opinions.

Regardless of the above-mentioned ways, the marketing industry has moved more mobile.  Less and less companies are harassing consumers with phone calls and employing more ways of marketing, which are acceptable and legal, and provide better, positive engagement between brand and consumer.

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