DM and digital share a DNA

Discipline convergence is proceeding apace and the direct marketing sector is at the forefront of change.

But change is always painful and no matter how much senior management wants to push forward, the message still has to be filtered down the ranks to those at the coalface. They have to be won over, understand the reasons for change and grasp the benefits.

Right now the need for “traditional” DM to recognise its symbiotic link with digital marketing communications is paramount. Maintaining a silo is not going to work and the sooner every member of a DM (and digital) team realises this, the better.

The disciplines have so much in common in terms of practises such as targeting, segmenting and measurement and so much that they can learn from each other. Many brands are already integrating teams and urging them to share data but more can be done.

Recognition of the changing environment came this week with the renaming of the Institute of Direct Marketing to the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing. Of course, professional bodies have to defend their turf or their reason d’etre can vanish but as long as it’s not just a cosmetic rebranding and the organisation really does change to help members meet the new challenges, then a name change shouldn’t encounter criticism.

Other trade associations would do well to acknowledge the huge upheavals in the marketing world and figure out what is unique about their offering and how well they add value for their members. This may lead to a land grab and a blurring of distinctions but savvy marketers will figure out which bodies best serve their interests. Looks like the DM community is already on the front foot.

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