Now Underway: The Reinvention of Direct Marketing
I had the opportunity last month to participate as a Round 3 judge in the 2016 International ECHO Awards competition — and while we’ll find out the results of this effort on Oct. 16 in Los Angeles, I couldn’t help but be impressed with what’s going on across the world of data-driven marketing.
Direct marketing currently is being reinvented:
1. Customer relationship management is morphing toward customer-managed relationships
2. Branded direct is enriched by storytelling across the customer journey with rich experiential content — some of it provided by consumers
3. Analytics are moving beyond targeting and segmentation — toward attribution and media optimization
4. Online marketing is getting smarter (kind of) by offline marketing: there’s an R bias in some digital RFM [recency-frequency-monetary] models that marketers are trying to correct
Most transactions are still offline, so as much as marketers can map the entire customer journey, we’re still handicapped when we don’t get the full prospect and customer picture — both offline and online. This is a commonly reported problem shared by marketers.
With privacy regimens, there may never be a day when personally identifiable information is rented and exchanged with online data as it is offline — and I, for one, lament this built-in block of useful intelligence that would otherwise be applied in service to the consumer. There certainly are work arounds by getting opt-ins inside digital “walled gardens,” by using anonymized data for probabilistic prospect and customer identification, and by applying more powerful computing and analyses — all within responsible data collection frameworks. Still, how quickly can we modify existing data flows — or freshly build new ones — that bring all the data points together in ways that replicate the robust models and data appends that exist in the offline world? Let’s say this nirvana is still under construction with AdTech and MarTech improving all the time — in privacy respectful ways.
Come Oct. 16, I’m sure we’ll see a fantastic array of data-driven marketing being celebrated as the reinvention continues.