Welcome to the new digital reality

Russell Parsons

Last week, the Direct Marketing Association’s chairman elect Scott Logie proclaimed that direct marketing is very much at the heart of the brave new digital world.

Setting out his vision, Occam’s strategy director, says: “New technology means that customer engagement has been taken to a whole new level. As a result, direct marketing has never had such a wide-reaching role to play in business.

“From social media and mobile marketing to experiential and behavioural targeting, direct marketing has the potential to have significant and wide-ranging implications for businesses and their customers.”

Now, every direct marketer worth his or her salt has known for some time that physical mail needs to embrace and complement digital channels to survive.

However, it is nice to hear the rallying cry, particularly from the Direct Marketing Association.

Many direct marketers, both agency and client, I have spoken to over the past two years have commented that the DMA has been slow to accept digital as an opportunity and not a threat.

So to hear Logie talking about social media and mobile as direct marketing channels alongside physical mail is heartening.

The necessity to embrace was highlighted starkly last week when Dutch postal and parcel business TNT admitted, in announcing it was to spin-off its express-delivery business, that growth prospects for mail were severely limited.

Royal Mail too is struggling, reporting a 5% drop in mail volumes for the six months to 30 September, driving operating profit down to £52m.

The DMA has, through the creation of the Social Media Council, already made strides.

However, it needs to step up its efforts in developing digital direct marketing as much as managing the steady decline of physical.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here