CHICAGO – Scott Reeves is account director at online advertising services giant DoubleClick Inc. in Chicago. He is also treasurer this year, and vice president nominee next year, of the Chicago Association of Direct Marketing. His challenge is one that has frustrated most direct marketers over the past decade: How to convince interactive marketers that they are part of the DM field?
This struggle was evident at the CADM’s 53rd annual Direct Marketing Days & Expo April 30 and May 1 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. There were plenty of sessions on interactive issues including search, e-mail, affiliate marketing and Web design. But where were the exhibitors from that side of the business? Mail service providers ruled.
“I don’t feel like there’s a whole lot of recognition of the interactive space as a direct marketing field,” Mr. Reeves said. “It’s more likely that the folks in interactive marketing want to see it different and, at the same time, the perception of direct marketing as old. Those of us here don’t see that.
“I think the challenge for us at CADM is to help educate the marketer that direct marketing is a lot broader than direct mail and try to get the interactive marketing community to recognize their place as direct marketers,” he said. “They’re delivering what direct marketing’s about and they’re delivering it tenfold. It’s database-driven, it’s measurable, it’s accountable. It’s everything which every medium wants.”
Mr. Reeves plans to work closely with Mike Becker, vice president at Mackay Envelope Co. and incoming president of CADM. They hope to change DM’s perception and broaden the reach of the association to attract interactive marketers.
This year’s interactive sessions included speakers from Demandware, Cartona, Power Reviews, Offermatica, BabyCenter, CNET, DoubleClick’s Performics, Google, Jingle Network, MBS, A&E Television Networks, Mindshare Interactive, Musician’s Friend and The Marketing Store.
“I think awareness of the show’s content is No. 1,” Mr. Reeves said, “but also the involvement by the brands [that these interactive marketers] know – the exhibitors, speakers, attendees. They need to be aware those people are attending and that they’re getting value out of them.”