GLOVES OFF: Does brand have a place in today's DM?

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Brand marketers want you to believe that creative, brand position and entertainment hold the keys to successful marketing. In contrast, direct marketers contend that only media that can be targeted and measured with precision are worthwhile investments.

I think both camps have lost focus on what is truly important - developing multimedia strategies and programs that enhance the value of relationships with consumers over time.

The claims that the 30-second spot is dead and that measurement is stifling creativity are false. Both brand and direct marketing can be very effective tools in driving consumer behavior over time. Brand advertising should focus on satisfying a universal need in the marketplace. Great direct marketing focuses on capitalizing on unique needs at a specific point in time.

The challenge today is not about which approach is better; it is figuring out how to create an effective blend of universal, unique offers and messages delivered through multiple media at the right time to drive the best results.

Conceptually, this might sound easy. In reality, it is very difficult to do well. Both the critical competencies of brand and direct are necessary for success. Instead of deploying each independently, brand and direct should be integrated to deliver the best set of outcomes.

The digital and information revolution taking place in marketing has created an ideal environment for marketers who understand what prospects want, and can engage them in the most effective way.

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