In a tough economy when businesses are slashing budgets and wanting a clear ROI on every Rand spent, there’s nothing like direct marketing to validate your marketing investment.
Where is the world of Direct Marketing heading?
Lester Wunderman, Father of Direct Marketing and his team believes that changing dynamics, needs and technologies have made the world a much smaller and faster place. Here are some of the outcomes of an interview they had and what we can expect in the future.
In the meantime, thousands of direct marketers around the world are getting ready to migrate to New Orleans (the home of jazz) for the world's largest event for direct and interactive marketers - The DMA's 87th Annual Conference and Exhibition, where even more trends and new developments will come to light.
It is the most important gathering for the direct and interactive marketing industry to discover leading-edge thinking, networking with great marketing practitioners and exploring hundreds of resources to strengthen and grow their business operations.
Many South Africans are attending this year - and we are sure to make a 'difference' to the Mardi Gras party. But, what are the benefits of attending this event?
- The sharpest minds in direct marketing will be there and it is a unique opportunity to tap into their knowledge and experience!
- Get big-picture inspiration from the Thought Leadership Forums' high-level speakers offering case study profiles of today's leading companies.
- Sharpen your direct marketing skills with over 100 workshops and educational sessions.
- Seek, meet and close deals with industry peers during dedicated networking time-banks.
- Find any product and service you can imagine in the direct marketing industry's largest exhibition.
- And have masses of fun.
Making inroads across the world
New marketing channels appear and speed is king as these new channels emerge more quickly, with a proliferation of international marketers and technology making the journey from development to refinement in much less time.
New ideas, techniques and technologies are no longer generated from one specific source. We now experience a more genuine exchange of creative technique, data analysis and account management resources with partners throughout the world.
There are differences and inconsistencies throughout the world and in terms of our industry's future, global efforts can become increasingly difficult when nations continue to grow and change at different rates and in different ways. For instance, in Spain a lot is happening: databases and communications may be affected by privacy laws; bans on tobacco advertising may be implemented; and their general election may cause a shift in budget plans and decision-making.
The misuse of telemarketing and spam mail in various markets abroad are alarming. Many countries, including India, Canada, etc., have begun to look at Do-Not-Call lists of their own and Canada is awaiting the implementation of the Do-Not-Call file. At this point, there is uncertainty of its impact on large marketers.
Full speed ahead for CRM
Due to the accelerated pace of penetration and acceptance of global techniques and practices many industry strongholds are growing stronger. As in America, CRM is an integral part of the marketing mix abroad. All-inclusive CRM strategies proved successful for many marketers from retailers to pharmaceuticals. Enrico Morandi in Milan saw special emphasis in clients' budgets on CRM in energy, finance and telecommunications.
CRM practices differ according to local conditions. In the Indian cell phone industry, there is a shift in focus from acquisition to retention, which was a key strategy due to the entry of several large players. And Rajat Sethi feels the market will continue to grow, probably led by the airlines and credit card industries followed by pharmaceuticals.
CRM marketing is growing in the Canadian markets and Trish Wheaton reports extensive growth of over 80% in the use of CRM as part of their marketing mix. New entrants in Direct/CRM marketing include pharmaceuticals and consumer packaged goods.
What's on the Horizon?
Direct marketing has gained ground throughout the world for a variety of different reasons. In India the key growth sectors included IT, telecom and banking.
The growing success of SMS messaging is seen throughout Europe. Wolfgang Haf points to the rapid proliferation in Germany and the UK as a key indicator of the beginning of the SMS tidal wave. SO is Australia. The growth is due to its large volume capacity, competitive pricing and ability to send and receive messages efficiently; it represents the first wave of popular on-the-move, two-way communications channels between marketer and consumer.
Even Japan is keen to develop their direct marketing industry when their Postal Administration goes private in the next three years. However, the bulk of direct marketing remain in Europe and North America with great potential in Latin America and Asia.
Data and the Sleeping Giant
China will present huge opportunities for large-scale data capture and analytics. Despite governmental restrictions and technological obstacles, the mainland Chinese economy is booming and could become bigger than some European countries. With a multitude of consumers and a burgeoning middle class making upscale purchases, China's potential waits to be unlocked by database marketers.
Latin American Creativity
Brazil leads the way with a stabilising economic climate and its large population. Brazil is no stranger to direct marketing. It has some of the best creative minds the industry has to offer. Latin America also boasts an increasingly empowered youth culture. According to Eddie Gonzalez, twenty-something's are becoming more and more curious about new technologies and overseas brands. Their global-mindedness is critical to the Latin American market.
You can get there from here
The Wonderment team concludes in saying that for advertising and direct marketing agencies and the many global marketers, the changing global environment provides a great opportunity.
Agencies have to be on top of best practices because of multinational clients. The need to know and convey ideas and information is incumbent on us, and this presents unique opportunities and new challenges. They remind us that you don't have to do business abroad to adopt great ideas. Indeed, the world seems to have become a much smaller place for all of us.
And as we know - the world is but a village.
First published in 1995, the report is released every other year in conjunction with DMA’s Annual Conference and delivers historic trends, current year estimates, and one-year and five-year projections for direct marketing expenditures, sales, ROI and employment.
An online presence can take several forms and have any one of multiple objectives.
A Glimpse of the Future
Three years from now - or perhaps sooner - the direct marketing scene (the scene not the techniques) will be barely recognisable from that which we know and love today: the carefully delineated, agencies; the internecine warfare; the specialists and non- specialists; and so on, will all begin to disappear.
In the recent past, the position and relevance of direct marketing (DM); in the information age has been viewed as a 'dying' facet of the advertising industry. However, research and trends have proved that direct marketing will have an impact on the economic growth and lead the industry in one-to-one marketing.