Editorial: Direct will be marketers' go-to strategy this year

Share this content:

When a company like PepsiCo breaks tradition, skipping $3 million Super Bowl ads for the first time in more than two decades in favor of a CRM program, you know it is a watershed moment. Direct marketing is now the centerpiece of all advertising. We saw other signs of this turning point in 2009, as blue-chip marketers that historically favored TV branding campaigns — such as Ford Motor Co. — embraced social media and online communities to sell products and engender loyalty.

Direct marketers have known for years that direct and digital need to be the core of any smart marketing strategy, but it was only in the past six months that major advertisers converted fully to direct in droves. The economic picture accelerated this trend, as more companies looked for lower-cost marketing efforts.

In addition, consumers give them no other choice. In an age of Facebook and Twitter and mobile devices, customers are more connected than ever, and have access to a host of real-time tools that put them squarely in the driver's seat.

For example, Google Product Search incorporated bar-code scanning for its Android mobile phones in mid-2009, which enables shoppers to scan a barcode and get a list of local retailers that carry the item, as well as how much the item costs in each store. Other smartphones have similar applications.

That means direct response strategy, which incorporates data and customer intelligence, is going to be the only route for marketers. We will see a laser focus this year on improving customer service and CRM programs as companies discover they can best differentiate their product or service based on their relationship with consumers.

In this issue, DMNews features "Direct Outlook" — a look at top trends in 2010 reported by DMNews staff — and a common thread is the use of sophisticated behavioral targeting, customer engagement strategies and personalization capabilities to win customers' hearts and wallets.

Dave Frankland, principal analyst at Forrester Research, calls this the year that customer intelligence becomes reality, in a column on page 12 in this issue. He and Bruce Biegel, managing director of Winterberry Group and our other page 12 columnist, contend this will put greater pressure on companies to create and retain a centralized view of the customer through integrated databases.

Stay tuned. We will witness many more traditional brand marketers get wise to their customers' needs and wishes through the use of targeted, trackable direct response tactics as the foundation of marketing strategy.


Next Article in Multichannel Marketing

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

USAData helps businesses find new customers and grow their current customers through a combination of data and digital marketing services, and easy-to-use SaaS technology products. We enrich customer data so businesses can more effectively target and communicate with customers, and connect them with their best look-alike prospects through digital and traditional channels. We make it easy through simple, self-serve applications and APIs, as well as through full-service programs managed by our Data and Digital experts. 

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above