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Being a response-driven industry, direct marketing is well practised in moving with the times, and has succeeded in quickly adapting to new technologies, media and markets in the 21st century. It seems that marketing was far simpler in previous centuries, as in 1759 Dr Samuel Johnson claimed, “The trade of advertising is now so near to perfection that it is not easy to propose any improvement.” At Marketing Week, we may not be able to describe how to produce direct marketing that is perfect, but we can bring you advice, opinion and debate from leading spokespeople in the industry.

In this supplement, our experts look at key challenges facing today’s direct marketers: how to create integrated campaigns that speak to a diverse market; the ways that modern agencies must evolve to succeed; how to build genuine relationships with customers; getting to grips with media neutrality; using creative approaches that work; and the most effective approaches for business-to-business campaigns.

Each essay emphasises the central role that direct marketing plays in the marketing mix and gives clear examples of campaigns that have brought clients closer to their consumers. Part of this success is down to the degree of personalisation and immediacy that latest technologies allow, but new media can only ever be as effective as the messages that they carry.

Dr Johnson had no way of foreseeing the dramatic changes to marketing methods and media that were to come, but today’s direct marketer can never afford to believe that there is nothing left to learn. As Leo Burnett once said: “There is no such thing as a permanent advertising success.”

Annie Swift,

Publishing Director, Marketing Week

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