Message & Media: Marketers, Ask Yourself: Are You a Real Direct Marketer?
Recently, I've heard from colleagues wondering what the future holds for direct marketers. Some fixate on whether or not they should have a Twitter account or Facebook page. Others say they are still "doing direct mail" in hushed, almost embarrassed tones.
I say, lighten up! In spite of the economy, rising costs and the ever-changing world of social media, direct marketers are well positioned for whatever the future holds.
That is, real direct marketers.
Real direct marketers aren't driven by any one type of media, award-winning messaging or misgivings about changes in technology.
As Larry Kimmel, the new CEO of the national Direct Marketing Association reminded members in his first official communication: "For years, we (direct marketers) knew that leveraging behavioral data and quantifiable results information was a superior go-to-market strategy. Now virtually all of marketing is direct or is becoming direct. We are well positioned to lead the business world again in the creation of even more effective and efficient technologies and techniques."
Here are other truisms about real direct marketers. Which apply to you?
• Real direct marketers know direct and direct marketing are not synonymous with direct mail. There's more to the media mix than just mailing lists.
• Real direct marketers don't stop using a control without first finding a proven replacement. Related to this, real direct marketers wouldn't stop using a proven email, mailing, space ad or landing page just because they were "tired of seeing it."
• Real direct marketers don't identify with only one type of media. They test to find the most cost-effective media for communicating successfully with their targeted audiences.
• Real direct marketers equate new technology with new opportunity because changing technology has always fueled direct marketing growth.
• Real direct marketers pay attention to details. For example, the United States Postal Service was recently named "Most Trusted Government Agency" in a national survey. Eighty-seven percent of Americans surveyed ranked the USPS No. 1 over 75 other federal agencies. That means there's a sense of security and privacy surrounding your mail piece when it's delivered by a uniformed USPS carrier. How are you capitalizing on that?