Following on Tom's comments on direct marketing and direct selling ...
The starting point for me is that BRUTE FORCE DOESN'T WORK any more. The "old" advertising-based view of marketing posits that if you interrupt your customers 20 times in a week, and a competitor only interrupts them 7 times, you're more likely to make the sale. In today's world, that thinking is ludicrous. Today's customers are way too savvy and scrutinizing—and way too busy—to fall for that.
So ... what kind of direct marketing/selling can work in an environment where brute force is no longer an effective marketing tool? Much direct marketing is no more than "advertising in envelopes," meaning that it's just more "get in your face, interrupt your life" brute force communication.
That's not the secret to success. The answer is to use direct tools to engage with a customer in the kind of dialogues that, in concert with all other experiences she has with your company, build a strong Brand Harmony in her mind.
Direct selling and marketing tools can be a very effective part of that mix, helping a customer get to know you and your product and be able to say to herself, "I get it ... I want it ... and I can't get it anywhere else."