Face it, all marketers are direct marketers

Russell Parsons

“We are all direct marketers now” is not a phrase that will go down to the annals of oratory history in quite the same way as Richard Nixon’s “we are all Keynesians now” but, according to a new report, it is fast-becoming a reality.

A white paper, authored by Martin Hayward, former director of strategy and futures at dunnhumby UK, argues that the recent recession and fear of a second has kick-started a shift that will see marketing spend migrate towards more direct and accountable channels.

He continues: “Direct marketing has always been seen as the rather unglamorous tactical cousin of the real business of marketing, but the reality today is that all marketers will now need to embrace the targeting, measurement and rapid response skills pioneered in this discipline. There is no shame in knowing who you want to talk to, getting the right message efficiently to them and accurately measuring the result.”

A compelling argument. Understanding of the importance of data and how it can bolster insight into customers and markets is now a key part of a marketers’ job. Newer digital developments, such as FourSquare and iAds, have also raised the geo-targeting bar.

We are not just talking about the traditional, physical DM here but direct communication, by whatever means, with consumers that concludes with a response.

That is not to say that there is no longer room for brand building, be it through social media or television. But with so much data and so many targeting tools making marketers more accountable than ever before, the days of impressive award-winning creative, widely recalled but hollow are over.

Campaigns need to focussed, smartly integrated with clear objectives and desired outcomes.

We are indeed, all direct marketers now.

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