Over at DMNews.com, Scott Donation has presented the case that what we think of as Direct Marketing is largely annoying, time consuming, and pointless. As much as it may hurt to admit, he is absolutely correct. There is also a very good reason for that, which Scott also mentions: It works. The more grating, deceitful, and repetitive an ad is, the more likely it is to stand out in your mind later on. After all, why would marketers waste hundreds of thousands of dollars on a strategy that doesn’t bring in results?
Another key point Scott makes is to highlight the fact that in today’s industry, all marketing is direct marketing. To a certain point, this is true. There is little distinction between an email blast and a Facebook post, and one may be led to question if those distinctions would exist at all without the industry creating them. We all know the differences, don’t we? Social Media Agencies handle the glitzy and exciting portions of advertising, while the Direct Marketers populate the newspaper-strewn back alleys, stuffing handfuls of eye-burning neon postcards into mailboxes.
The question then, is why? It wasn’t that long ago that email and print marketing were the must-have approaches. Again, Scott has an excellent answer. Direct Marketing hasn’t changed. New marketing strategies have adopted many of the traditional techniques that have always worked, but they did it with flair and innovation. In order to keep up, and in order to improve their image, direct marketers will have to step up their game, and come up with marketing solutions outside of gimmicky packaging and fake notice letters.
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