Alternative marketing thinking


The Future Of Marketing. Why Direct Marketers Will Lead The Revolution.

Measurability, interactivity, customization, segmentation, some of the terms that we see being associated with new media marketing. And if you have ever looked in the dictionary of direct marketing, chances are these words would have been looked up the most by the practitioners of the trade.

For the uninitiated excited about the future of marketing, let’s take you on a tour into gardens of direct marketing. Two of the tenets of the DM business, that have become the foundation on which digital marketing is built on are measurability and interactivity. Who saw the communication, was the communication looked at. Did someone click it; spend time with it and finally what happened. What was the ROI of the piece of creative.

Customisation and segmentation. Now there’s nothing much to explain here, but anyways. When you search anything in Google, “ballbearing manufacturers”, you end up with a bunch of paid for ads that don’t show up when you search for “rollerbearing manufacturers”. Direct marketing has been using such techniques for decades that web and new media marketers have come in and co-opted.

Technology Marketer’s dilemma. One of the issues that is facing new media and technology marketers is that they have little or no understanding of brands, branding and brand strategy. While these people understand new technologies like nobody else, what is missing is their understanding of brand building and the process around it. Brand managers and marketers see this as a serious problem and are hence reluctant to give pure technology marketers a larger role in their marketing and brand building activities. Direct marketers have never had this problem, as they have honed their skills by working closely with researchers, brand managers and CMOs and hence are ready to partner them with ideas that flow off new technology. The only thing that is missing in the consummation of this marriage is the shortage of understanding of how technology works in the minds of DM professionals. And that is a big, big problem.

Technology, noise compounds problems. Any marketer who has been evaluating technology marketing solutions has often felt overwhelmed by the choices that are available out there : banners, microsites, email, blogs, streaming video, podcasts, vodcasts, widgets, mashups, SMS – that list is endless. The person who had to pick between radio, print, TV and outdoor, all distinct and simple to understand media was now being inundated with options and all of them being delivered through the same interface.

Direct marketing. The road ahead. The future is bright for DM professionals who work closely with technologists. While the DM strategists will not need to write code, they will need to understand how new technologies work and how they can make a difference in marketing. There is a great opportunity for people who can help make sense out of all the confusion that abounds around new technologies, delivery platforms, devices and tools. People who first understand the tenets of branding and brand management, have experience in creating engaging interactive that can be measured and then delivered seamlessly across media mostly will be the ones who will make their mark in the future.


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