I was asked to give my opinion on whether I agree or disagree on the following statement:
“Market opinion is that growing regulatory complexity around new media channels such as e-mail marketing, web and mobile will in fact drive growth in and a return to more traditional DM (Direct Marketing) channels – this is as direct results of direct marketers wanting to steer clear of the complex legal issues when it comes to PPI and managing opt out lists. While we agree that the digital channels are growing and offer fantastic new ways of reaching consumers, they are by no measure ready to take over from traditional DM such as mail pieces, 3d and so on. Furthermore, traditional DM channels are still the perfect partner to new channels to drive opt in and grow databases.”
Traditional DM channels are going to work, however I believe that the way we use them is going to change. Our most successful client only uses mail and gains unbelievable responses, however the nature of the mail, its product etc. are very well suited to this, and again the data management on our clients side is superb and we commend them for this. Globally we are not seeing a shift away from traditional DM channels but rather an integration of traditional and non-traditional which has become highly effective. When one considers the cost of a mail campaign against a mobile campaign or e-mail campaign, many companies choose to go for the less expensive option which then yields, if you are lucky, average results for that type of campaign. However this move towards multi-channel marketing on a global scale is yielding some amazing results especially within the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and lately South Africa) as these are developing nations where digital and mobile media has grown rapidly. Multi-channel marketing is becoming the best way to attract people to speak to you as a business. Your traditional forms of DM are becoming the drivers to get people to platforms where one can engage in mobile and digital marketing. Once you are able to use your traditional methods of DM to get people to allow you to market over these mediums then the legalities and regulations are more relaxed as you gain a potential client who has opted in.
Whilst traditional DM channels are a definite winner on a call to action, digital and mobile is the winner on consumers telling brands and companies what it is they actually want. Once on these platforms, any company or person with some knowledge of what having an effective database can do for your company, would use the digital and mobile channels to gather information and engage with consumers, thus ensuring that your next call to action DM campaign will be reaching the right person with the right message in the right nature. As Ian says people still want to be spoken to, however we must not underestimate their want to speak to us! This is important in a new age where the consumer holds so much power over brands and companies, we really need to learn to listen and engage. Being on a mobile or digital platform allows us to listen and engage, however people need to know we are there and they can come and speak to us and the best way to let them know is through traditional DM channels.
As we get further into this new millennium we are going to see advancements in technology that some of us could barely dream of. As a company promotion and marketing are key to any and all plans we have at achieving success in this fast paced world. We have to forget about this “war” between traditional and non-traditional DM, a multi-channel approach offers great flexibility and for a dynamic marketer various channels can be used to great effect, allowing us to gain great knowledge and what’s more, brand loyalty.