At a time of great change, we reach for new words to describe what is happening, even though they later may prove meaningless. Marketers are no exception. While absorbing the shock wave of exponential connections to consumers (and consumers to one another), they have rushed to embrace digital marketing as the wave of the future. It’s a combination of words – “digital” and “marketing” — that makes little sense. “Marketing” is about the efficient and effective movement of goods and services from producer to end user. “Digital” describes a powerful new communication technology. The marketing of the future is much more than a form of technology.
Another favorite term for new marketing is “interactive.” Pardon me if I laugh at the absurdity of that one. “Interactive” is nothing new. Interacting with your target audience is at the heart of direct marketing. Direct is interactive. Interactive is direct. What have been falsely viewed as separate disciplines are actually one and the same.
Direct has been taking advantage of interactive technology breakthroughs ever since Gutenberg invented moveable type. Somewhere around 1450, publishers began turning out trade catalogs. Now it’s the 21st century, with just about every marketer in a one-to-one relationship with end users online, through mobile means or with direct mail. All businesses today market directly.
There is a new word for this new form of direct. I call it iDirect Marketing, a framework of proven, data-driven practices that uses an abundance of digital tools to engage with customers at a time and place of their choosing.
The letter “i” in combination with “direct” represents every aspect of this new internet-infused methodology. iDirect marketing is interactive, involved, integrated, informed, insightful, individualized, inclusive, immediate and innovative. It is a singular new force created at the convergence of digital technology, interactive communication and direct marketing. simply put, iDirect is the 3-in-1 future of marketing.