By Keith Trivitt | @KeithTrivitt | Director, Marketing and Communications
Writing in a blog post last June, Direct Marketing News Editor-in-Chief Ginger Conlon asked the thought-provoking question, “What is direct marketing, anyway?” The piece sparked dozens of comments, an editorial series in the September issue of DMNews and some serious soul searching by direct and digital marketers.
Conlon’s post focused on the basic notion of direct marketing, its relevancy and value to brands and whether the term is relevant in the digital age. She concluded by asking: Is direct marketing still the most appropriate name for the discipline?
The comments section of that post are a menagerie of opinions on whether the term “direct marketing” is outdated or sullied by surreptitious and outdated practices, or if it continues to resonate with consumers and brands in a meaningful way.
As someone who oversees marketing at an integrated digital media agency, MediaWhiz, that offers digital direct-response services to clients, I have a biased opinion on this matter. I personally believe that direct marketing remains highly relevant, both in its value to clients and as a term to describe a form of marketing.
Direct marketing’s greatest value to brands is its direct-to-consumer focus that is about relevancy at the point of purchase. It is the most specific form of customer acquisition. The very point of direct marketing is to generate a sale or acquire a lead that eventually becomes a sale. In an age of fragmented consumer attention that is a rare and valuable asset for any brand to have in its marketing toolkit. (more…)