Business Outlook 2003
But is any government-imposed regulation a good thing?
Kislik sees both a promise and a threat: "The one actual advantage to regulation is that it levels the playing field. I'm not suggesting there [won't be] industry casualties … but then everyone starts out equal again. … If you have a better business model or smarter marketing plans, then effectiveness carries you forward."
The threat that a federally-run DNC list poses, says Kislik, is that it won't be long before someone's calling for a federal Do Not E-mail list; which will be followed—but not anytime soon—by a federal Do Not Mail list.
Another regulation facing telemarketers is an FTC proposal that would impose an 18-month time limit on phone contact with new customers. The sticking point, Kislik explains, is when should the clock start on this "established business relationship"? If it's at the point of transaction, then continuity offers with multiple shipments are in jeopardy of being ineligible for phone renewal. For example, a two-year subscription would expire six months after the time limit on phone contact.
The telemarketing industry is lobbying the FTC to make sure the clock starts after the last delivery of product or service. Otherwise, Kislik warns, marketers who rely solely on telemarketing will have to diversify into other media to gain the next contact that allows the sales dialogue to move forward.
Prediction #4: Salvation in the Media Mix
The consensus of the panel was that a growth-oriented direct marketing strategy is one composed of multiple channels, offers and creative approaches.
"Multichannel marketing is a great catch-word, but not enough [companies] have embraced it," says Richard Baumer. "It's great in theory, but difficult in practice. … I believe that all marketers need to get good at it to counteract all this other stuff that's not going to go away."
- San Francisco