Magazine article Marketing

Merging Marketing Disciplines

Magazine article Marketing

Merging Marketing Disciplines

Article excerpt

The coming together of sales promotion and direct marketing has long been heralded as a new marketing direction for the 90s. Witness the recent spate of mergers between sales promotion and direct marketing agencies and the coining of the term "direct promotions" by trade magazines. The term implies a new technique has been discovered, promotions by post. But is it this simple?

For years, direct marketers have gazed longingly at the mountains of coupon information that languished in paper bags at the feet of product managers following a successful promotion. What targeting information could be magicked out of those bags! And the sales promotion experts have long recognised the allure of the long-term customer relationship and the impact their promotions could make on that relationship.

But with the reduction of budgets and the need for greater effectiveness from all marketing activities, it is the client who is driving the change. Today, clients are demanding short-term sales stimulation which also lays a foundation for the future and is consistent with (enhances even) brand values. Whatever you call it, clients want results now, that build relationships for the future, and don't alienate anyone along the way.

On the surface, apart from the cost implication, it doesn't sound like such a tall order. Large agency groups are well placed to say "no problem". They've got direct marketing and sales promotion agencies which can work together.

In reality the issue is more complicated. But, because of the emphasis on specialisation during the past decade, people have been trained single-mindedly in their disciplines, and a gulf exists. …

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