Magazine article Marketing

Direct Marketing Can Teach Digital Valuable Lessons

Magazine article Marketing

Direct Marketing Can Teach Digital Valuable Lessons

Article excerpt

Being in digital interactive marketing is great. It's fast, exciting and, nowadays, almost respectable! We are doing things that have never been done before, in most cases far too quickly, and making history as we go.

We should, however, occasionally give some thought to what other areas of the marketing mix are up to. Offline or 'traditional' disciplines such as advertising and direct marketing have in their favour an element of longevity which as yet eludes digital media agencies.

What, for example, have direct marketing agencies been doing for the past 40 years while waiting for the new media revolution? The answer is they have been gaining an unparalleled understanding of data segmentation, consumer habits and behaviour patterns and learning how to communicate a particular message to elicit a desired level of response.

Forget that the delivery process, usually involving some paper based mechanic, is fundamentally flawed; this understanding of what messages customers respond to is a basic requirement we could all do well to learn.

With the increasing number of digital platforms available to reach our target audience and the increasing sophistication of the consumer, companies will need to be much smarter in the way they talk to their audiences.

The key is not understanding the technology but understanding the usage occasion and how individual consumers will want to interact with their content or chosen brand. We know that many people feel more comfortable interacting with their TV, for example, than with a web site through their computer. As the delivery options increase we will need to understand the format and environment with which individuals feel most comfortable as this will be a key discriminator.

One of the reasons why the development of WAP has been slower than expected is that while the delivery of content to mobile phones has huge implications, the fact, or perception, was that the actual experience was disappointing. …

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