Message & Media: Mind Your Message
As a direct marketer, what’s on your mind as the new year begins? Response rates? Rising costs? Customer reaction to changes ahead?
Most agree that 2009 is going to be a year of changing opportunities—personal and professional, political and economic. So buckle up for the adventure ahead.
For me, the start of 2009 is a time to rethink, regroup and refocus. And that includes this column. You’ve probably noticed it has a new title—Message & Media.
First, I want to thank the faithful readers of Direct Mail Strategy, the column I wrote for five years. Your e-mails, phone calls and letters have proven you are a very responsive group. And I promise I am not forsaking direct mail.
Instead, this new column will broaden our conversation of how to use direct response media to target and deliver your marketing messages. With more media options than ever, this column will provide tips, techniques and examples of how to maximize readership, relevancy and response.
How New Media Fit Into Direct Marketing
According to Direct Marketing Hall of Famers Martin Baier, Bob Stone and Pete Hoke, direct marketing is an interactive system of marketing that uses one or more types of media to generate a measurable transaction at any location, with this activity stored on a database. Their definition sums up what makes the discipline so attractive to marketers focused on ROI.
Keep in mind, some newly emerging media may not fit this definition because they currently lack a way to track individual transactions back to original media sources. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use nontrackable media. Think of it as another tool in your marketing toolbox similar to PR and special events. Just realize you won’t be able to analyze your ROI as you do in direct marketing.
Tracking Is Golden
The beauty of direct marketing is it’s trackable, measurable and accountable. Being able to analyze results allows marketers to identify successes and failures, making adjustments to test, retest and roll out.