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.