Cut Through Clutter by Capitalizing on Existing Relationships

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In his article, "The Future of Direct: Spoil the Consumer" (DM News' Outlook 2005), Howard Draft asserts that in today's crowded marketplace, it is the job of direct marketers to spoil the consumer by developing relationships that matter to them in a non-intrusive manner, notably via direct mail and the Internet.

Though I agree that mail and the Internet are two tools necessary for building relationships through relevant and targeted communication, the future of direct marketing also must rely on existing relationships that already matter.

Approach the trusted sources within the target community (e.g., community-based organization leaders, local elected officials, ministers, business community leaders, etc.) to introduce your message. Encourage them to relay your message to the people in the community whom they serve. Receiving key messages through these leaders lends more credibility to mail and Internet communications than when used independently of a trusted source. Furthermore, this approach generates cost efficiencies, since a trusted source has the ability to reach entire organizations and populations with a specific and tailored message.

By capitalizing on existing relationships with trusted sources, direct marketers can cut through the clutter of consumer-focused messages and deliver brand messages that resonate immediately and build sustainability into their campaigns.

Michael Kondratick, Director, The Direct Impact Company

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