Knowledge Library

Direct Marketing is Alive and Looking Great in 2008


Direct Marketing is Alive and Looking Great in 2008

What lies ahead for us in marketing direct? The Americas and other countries are optimistic and from talking to various friends in our industry and although there are a multitude of factors influencing our decisions we are moving forward in Relevant, Responsible and Result-driven direct marketing activities. This is good news.

John Greco Jr, President and CEO of the US DMA remarks that The DMA attributes direct marketings growing economic clout and increasing prevalence in the marketing world to three key attributes:

  1. The ability to reach customers and businesses with highly targeted and relevant offers,
  2. A solid commitment to responsible marketing and
  3. Reliable delivery of measurable results.

The US DMA is keenly focused on strengthening and accelerating this trend. And they are driving home the point that direct is the true future of marketing.

Education and Training
We are committed to continuously improving the teachings of world-class Direct, Data and Interactive Marketing and New Media through training programs with the Institute of Marketing Management Graduate School of Marketing (IMM) and our own In-company custom-developed Training Programs and Workshops.

For more information go to and click on Learning Programs or email me directly at You will also find thousands of articles on our marketing portal on a wide variety of topics.

 A recent survey by Veronis Suhler Stevenson in their communications industry forecast, reports that most of the gains in direct marketing was from e-mail, mobile marketing and the refreshed exploration into response TV. Also a modest growth in the two workhorse channels (some even calls it old fashioned) direct mail and telemarketing. So for us, the trick is to know from where our growth will come. What we personally have experienced is that the forecast is bright for marketing direct, especially online and exploring the social media landscape.

The expectations world-wide is that direct marketing will maintain a steady growth of 6.3% up to 2011 with all the multi- and cross channel activities taking place. The Internet is forecast to run away with an average 19% annual growth. We hope that our 2010 event will give us a spike in our graph.

So what about other insights and trends!
I have chosen a few mavens in their respective fields to give us direction. Here is what they have to say.

Grant Johnson, President and CRO of Johnson Direct has this to say about the biggest creative trend. The marketing and creative tactics we were using five years ago wont work with todays shifting demographics and preferences. Agencies and marketers need to understand digital media options and how to design for the medium. The Mobile Marketing Association says that by 2008, 89% of brands will use text and multimedia messaging to reach their audiences, with nearly one-third planning to spend more than 10% of their marketing investments on advertising in the medium.

He continues: The Baby Boomer population (or Zoomers as they are now called) will grow by 25% in the next decade while other segments remain flat. And communication and creative strategies need to address the fact that this segment becomes more multi-cultural, busier and increasingly more cynical towards traditional sales pitches.

Grant reports that Advertising Online will continue to mature and evolve and online spending is up as much as 33% over last year. With this in mind, the creatives should localise their campaigns and zero in on targeted segments to drive both on- and offline traffic.

The ever increasing personal and strongest word-of-mouth advertising will continue to evolve. Grant emphasizes that understanding how all types of audiences use the Internet and Web to meet and connect with others, whether personal or business, will be critical to designing effective, response-driven and measurable campaigns.

Interestingly enough, and we see that even here, is that social media options such as Facebook, and others are replacing bars and coffee houses as a place to meet people. With this in mind, Grant says, Fashion will seep deeper into mainstream media, influencing not only how people dress but how marketers design. The colours, textures and details will infiltrate print and electronic campaigns.

What are the directions in E-mail marketing?
Bill Nussey, CEO Silverpop (Direct 2007) gives us three trends to look out for online marketing initiatives. Firstly, for legitimate marketers the move from computer-based key filters to high-end reputation systems that incorporates feedback data will continue to make for a better world of e-marketing.

Secondly the increased integration across marketing products, such as Web analytics, content management and e-mail will increase linkage and seamless integration and enable marketers to understand their customer and prospect multi-channel behavior which will provide extremely high quality targeting for relevance and key to strong relationships and ROI.

And thirdly, Bill reports that B-2-B e-mail marketing will come into its own. He says that marketers are recognising the high ROI potential of a well-executed B-2-B marketing program and tools that address the complexities of high-involvement sales.

Another expert is Ruth Stevens, B-2-B Consultant and Author and personal friend and travel companion to us, says that the biggest trend in marketing direct is: Integration across the customer buying process.

She comments that integration doesnt sound new, but its finally getting the attention and respect it deserves in business markets. The problem she says has been siloed management of the customer relationship across their lifecycle, explaining that corporate communication conduct their awareness campaigns and direct marketers generate leads. The call centre nurtures the leads till theyre ready to see a salesperson, then the sales force takes over and the marketers lose complete touch and control with whats going on. How true. This Ruth says that from the customer perspective, the experience, which is disjointed and confusing, erodes brand value.

She believes the holy-grail is multi-touch campaigns, where each communication medium is put to its best use, using the optimal number of touches and the most compelling offers at each stage, and where consistent brand message is sustained throughout.

Moreover, Ruth explains that marketers are moving away from undifferentiated campaigns to a more carefully tuned series of communications targeted to suspects, prospects and current customers. In addition measuring multi-touch campaigns by isolating specific touches in test and control experiments, then connecting the final revenue outcome to the campaign series, to calculate campaign ROI.

We hope to see Ruth in South Africa later this year. Please visit this remarkable ladys website for more good advice and guidance and check out her books.

Most of the marketing studies show that marketers want immediate return on their investments.
Michelle Saperstein at Draftfcb says that overall marketers are looking for metrics across all media vehicles and take those to task that isnt contributing to the bottom line. And their challenge is accountability. She refers to a report that said 23% of marketers dont know what their primary interactive business objective is. And believe that all marketers need more clearly defined metrics.

The US DMA study The Integration of DM and Brand 2007 found that direct marketers rank sales / leads / revenue as their top metric, followed by response rates and profitability. Softer measurements like brand awareness trail by wide margins. What is interesting is that customer lifetime value comes in dead last.

It also shows that general advertisers are more and more starting to use direct marketing tools. Advancing technology and a growing push for measurable ROI have led to the introduction of direct marketing tactics into even the most traditional brand media. This study is available from the  

And the new buzz How green is your organisation?
This question is continually being asked by our customers, business partners, policymakers and donors. The US DMA is leading the way with their The Green 15. John Greco, Jr. from the DMA wrote in their 2007 Annual Report: The DMAs environmental mission is to help all direct marketers identify and adopt practices that are respectful of the environment. And the environment is not only natural resources writes John. Environment is a powerful term, holding different meanings for different people. It expands far beyond, air, water, earth and trees. Our environment encompasses everything around us that we can sense or perceive, including even the digital environment thats pumping out countless billions of bytes of new digital information every day.

He continues, protecting the environment isnt only a matter of doing the right thing. Its also an issue with significant bottom-line ramifications. Consumers and policy-makers are pressing for eco-friendly business practices. And these practices can yield significant financial benefits, including higher revenues, lower operational costs and enhanced customer trust.

To find out more about the US DMAs Committee on Environment and Social Responsibility, to their website for practical tips and resources  I like what he says: Were helping members go green so we can all stay in the black.

As responsible marketers, we will ensure that DirectTalks topics are relevant to business and that our writings will assist you in increasing your skills and knowledge and that it will help your company to drive profitable results.

Take care and talk to you soon.

Winnifred Knight at DirectTalk
Cell: +27 82 5759922

Share The Knowledge
30 Timeless Direct Marketing Principles by Bob Stone


30 Timeless Direct Marketing Principles by Bob Stone

Share The Knowledge
Just 16 steps will take you to the top of the Direct Marketing ladder!


Creativity in direct marketing starts with analytical thought. I will define the principles as I see them, to take away with you and use as a checklist when you sit down to have your own great ideas.

Share The Knowledge
Target marketing replaces traditional high-spend advertising campaigns, says Professor Kotler


The days of mass advertising and scattergun TV campaigns are over, according to the worlds leading marketer, Philip Kotler, who says that companies should shift to target and one-to-one marketing in light of increasingly fragmented media channels.

Share The Knowledge
DM Advertising Techniques


Dollar-for-dollar nothing brings in more business than direct marketing used correctly.

Share The Knowledge
Pitney Bowes Finds DRTV works for business-to-business marketing


Pitney Bowes Inc., Stamford, CT, began airing a new flight of DRTV spots this month as part of its ongoing campaign to reach the small office and home office (SOHO) markets that are difficult to reach through direct mail.

Share The Knowledge