Yet another topical DM piece from our Relationship Director, Eliot, which recently featured on Mad.co.uk – focussing on the future of DM and how marketers can effectively target and retain customers through learning from DM's past…
football matches last weekend, I decided to dust off some pages of an old
Direct Marketing tome (it was a dull game involving a side wearing blue from
across the channel). It struck me like an Alonso volley that its content and
relevance was even more pertinent to today’s marketer.
my years show that I was raised in the offline world where segmentation,
targeting and measurement meant that “ABC1 females in the South East would
deliver a ‘better’ response”, was as good as it gets. Maybe that’s a little
harsh but the mantras taught by our direct marketing predecessors were at best
challenging and at worst a pipe-dream.
just as time has moved on, data and MI have
become ever-more sophisticated, meaning the holy-grail of direct marketing was
within our grasp and the tarring of the junk-mail brush could be consigned to
history – personalisation, meaningful segmentation, responsive messaging,
fully-optimised channel usage – the right messages at the right time to the
right people at last!
But can you honestly say that your last offline campaign
fully lived up to this expectation?
that the world of offline is a thing of the past, you only have to look at the share
of marketing spend to know that’s wholly untrue. It feels more like a false
dawn, akin to that of an England fan’s dashed hopes of every four years. Now,
with the meteoric, multi-faceted rise of digital, we have an
all-new-direct-dawn that can fulfil the promises of our direct marketing past.
both Les Blues and my beers were sunk, the fantastically well-targeted Bing ads
reminded me that I needed to look for a new golf club (you’ll notice that I’m
ticking every stereotypical box for my profile today).
Whilst Bing prides
itself on neat filters, it’s hardly revolutionary. What was refreshing though,
having not been able to find the right club I was after, was looking to see
what the weather would be like for a father’s day barbeque only to be served
ads displaying the club I wanted at a discount price. Shame it was left-handed.
Although not quite right, I still clicked through and will probably visit
sure you’re aware of the possibilities of dynamic ad-serving and attitudinal tracking
to deliver relevant content but just like junk-mail, dynamic ad-serving can
become invasive and if it proves to be pervasive it could provoke being
restricted through legislation.
challenge is no longer to be seeking out the right audience through endless
segmentation exercises, as the individual will segment themselves through the
media and channels they consume. Marketers (or our pre-programmed media buying
robots) just need to ensure it’s available to consumers when they ask for
it. Furthermore, the bigger challenge
will be to develop more engaging formats to deliver more compelling messaging.
Junk-mail and spam are just two examples of how we can learn from DM’s past to ensure
that we achieve the direct vision we strive for and that we avoid an own-goal".