Top marketers explain why direct marketing plays so well in the digital age. Part 1

Posted on Nov. 07, 2013 by @direct_cpc in Marketing solutions

Some of Canada’s leading creative and marketing pros were asked for their take on the challenge of marketing across an increasing number of channels to an increasingly sophisticated audience. Today’s question (part 1):

“What role does direct marketing play in the media mix and how has that role evolved?”  

Do you see the value of this one-on-one marketing channel

“While it is just another channel in today’s mix, it’s a one-on-one channel”
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Scott Pinkney Creative Director and SVP, BBDO/Proximity

“Direct marketing is an incredible medium. While it is just another channel in today’s mix, it’s a one-on-one channel. Just 16 years ago, many of the channels we use today didn’t exist – and new channels keep being developed.

“The value of direct marketing’s one-to-one communication is its relevancy to audiences. At the end of the day, marketing is about communicating and reaching the consumer through the right channel with the right message to drive the desire to action. So I don’t think direct marketing’s going away. If anything, the drive to mine consumers through big data gives marketers even more tools to become closer with customers. We will get even better at giving them what they want across many channels.”

At the end of the day, marketing must create a physical relationship

“There’s a massive opportunity for direct mail to create physical relationships”
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Andrew Bruce CEO of Publicis Canada

“You know, it’s funny. I think there’s a gap in education and understanding around direct mail’s former role when compared with more traditional mass media. Direct mail slipped away because, in some ways, DM was solely approached from an ROI and data perspective. When digital routes of communication came along, marketers lost sight of the potential that resides in direct mail.

“I think there’s a massive opportunity for direct mail to create physical relationships because at the end of the day you’re ultimately trying to create a physical relationship. Facebook is designed to perpetuate the times in between those physical connections, to keep them alive. I think that direct mail is a wonderful opportunity to lead to something that’s ultimately meaningful. That’s what I see as an important part of direct mail’s evolving role.”

With email, more becomes less in terms of true efficiency

“It’s perceived as being expensive and it can be – if your targeting isn’t right.”
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Dean Maruna Executive Creative Director/Writer

“There’s a bit of short sightedness when it comes to direct mail. It’s perceived as being expensive and it can be – if your targeting isn’t right. People are drawn to the online world’s efficiency and cost per communication. On paper, online marketing does appear very economical and efficient. Scratch a little bit deeper and there’s less efficiency.

“The fact is that direct mail continues to be an absolutely key channel and it should be for many clients, especially of those in the B2B space. But if your list is clean and your targeting is bang on, then you can afford to send a compelling piece of DM. You know that the targeted person will find the message relevant. If you aren’t crafting customer relevant messages, then it’s a waste of money – just like any other channel.”

Direct mail is one of the few tactics that physically puts your message in the target’s hands

“Understand your target audience, target effectively, measure effectively”
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Anna Percy-Dove Managing Partner, Elvis Communications

“The principles of direct marketing apply to many channels – understand your target audience, target effectively, measure effectively and match your message to your audience. These principles apply right across the marketing mix. Direct marketers intuitively think that way. I think these principles also need to be applied to digital direct channels such as search, cost per click advertising, and email marketing. DM has a continued role in that marketing mix because it is one of the few tactics that actually puts a physical piece in the hands of the consumer at home.”

READ MORE: Top marketers explain why direct marketing plays so well in the digital age. Part 2 .

Including thoughts from Canada’s leading youth marketing expert Max Valiquette

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