Direct marketers – you won’t be shot for collaborating

Direct marketing budgets are under siege. There are plenty of new, shiny tech marketing solutions that appear to be after most, if not all, of DM’s clothes. One such is Sky’s Adsmart offering. 

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The Sky Media initiative allows relevant targeting of TV ads so that while Manchester and Maidenhead may be watching the same episode of Game of Thrones, they will see different ads. Currently there are 89 different segments available for brands on AdSmart and that is likely to double.

One example of a local campaign was for the Fiesta Flame, which saw targeted TV ads on behalf of the Southampton-based car dealership Hendy Group.  Believe me, this is a lot tighter focused than a Meridian TV region buy.

Then there are the developments in mobile that will allow hyper-targeting via beacons and other technology. Tests are going on with a branch of Eat and other brands to see if customers are receptive to this very immediate messaging in and around specific outlets.

In fact, Sky Media’s managing director Jeremy Tester said at the ISBA conference earlier this month “Direct mail marketing might suffer” thanks to the new tech.

But don’t despair.  The best way to approach this brave new world is to see it as an opportunity for collaborative effort. No media operates in a vacuum and amplification will always produce better results. “Traditional” DM is a natural ally for the new tech channels, able to carry more detail after a call to action and serving as a tangible reminder and reinforcer after the awareness burst.

And beyond that, the direct marketer should be able to offer advice and guidance to the department liaising with Adsmart and other platforms. It really is a natural proposition for the DM mindset.

Teamwork is the name of the game across company departments as siloes are dynamited, cross platform teams created and personnel parachuted in from all corners of the marketing department to solve problems. Direct marketers need to be involved in these kind of collaborative efforts – they can bring a lot of insight to the table that can help their colleagues.

And by the way, there are still plenty of huge brands that do value their direct marketers. Only last week B&Q said that it was “going back to basics” and revisiting how and where it spends its marketing budget.

As part of the plan it is pulling out of sponsorships in order to fund a monthly leaflet that it will deliver to customers either directly to their homes or via the press.

So there’s life in the original DM proposition yet.

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