Less segregation expected at show
I believe that a major theme to emerge this year will be the integration of direct media channels. Rather than looking at individual marketing tactics such as direct mail, DRTV or e-mail separately, the effectiveness of multiple consumer touch points should be better understood. A great example of this is how DRTV and paid search work in combination to generate greater results. The fact is that the new realities that we are facing - be it consumer control or the continued rise of interactive - are blind to silos. Direct channels working hand-in-hand will deliver more relevant and meaningful messages while producing unexpected results.
I am hoping to see the line between traditional "below-the-line" and "above-the-line" marketing efforts continue to fade. It's just not the reality anymore when it comes to building a client's business. While marketers, for the most part, are still keeping various marketing disciplines, direct or not, in silos, the most effective marketers are integrating disciplines, including direct marketing, brand awareness, promotion and retail. They are orchestrating multiple touch points with the consumer to provide a consistent message across platforms, while letting the customer decide when and how to react.
The industry has continued recognize the power of the Web and to develop new thinking on how to harness it. Interactive is talked about all the time, but this past year has really demonstrated how direct can and should evolve to meet the new realities of the interactive world.