Direct and digital live happily ever after….

Russell Parsons

Two pieces of direct marketing news landed on my desk last week that offer a glimpse into a direct marketer’s future.

Firstly, interesting developments at Publicis. The marketing services group announced the merger of Kitcatt Nohr and Digitas.

Publicis will merge direct agency Kitcatt Nohr with Digitas in the UK to form an all things to all direct marketers service provider, Kitcatt Nohr Digitas.

The integration allows Kitcatt Nohr to tap into the resources of Digitas’ expertise in digital interactive engagement and CRM management.

Apart from being a naked move to boost revenue, it is a development that signals the changing needs of marketers and the changing face of direct marketing.

No longer do marketing teams and channel-specific marketers work in isolation. Both digital and tradition mail campaigns are examples of direct marketing.

Countless studies have proved that marketing activity that hopes for a direct response works better when integrated. The most traditional of all direct channels, mail, is the perfect partner for the new kid on the marketing block.

With this move, Publicis is both adapting to marketers’ needs and offering insight into a trend that .is only likely to accelerate.

“All marketing will become direct marketing” forecasts a report covered in this weekly missive last month. Though not unequivocally the case, it will increasingly become a mantra marketers will come to believe in.

In merging Kitcatt Nohr with Digitas, Publicis has recognised this. Marketers need agencies to work on continuous engagement strategies and this is best served by integrated agency models.

To the second piece of news that came my way, which both edified and illustrated the points made above.

A piece of direct mail from out of home digital specialists 3M GTG. The B2B mail was a here we are and this is what we do push but the execution garnered significant interest from all here at Marketing Week.

A gatefold sleeve that presented three short-form videos explaining the services offered, all within a piece of mail no more than half a centimeter thick.

It’s the future, right here in my hands! Let us assume that the present cost of production meant that the campaign was a highly targeted example of the creative potential from the marriage of the traditional and the new rather than an indication of what is imminent.

But we know from experience that the cost of producing anything falls eventually. So, the opportunity to produce tactile mail, sprinkled with digital stardust that offers a reasonable return on investment cannot be too far away.

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