Measurability suits DM to be leader of charge toward integrated campaigns

In this cost-cutting world, many speculate that direct mar­keting will become the tactical breadwinner of the advertising industry. Heralding this trend is last week’s Communications Indus­try Forecast from Veronis Suhler Stevenson. It tracked a steady decline in the time consumers spend with media — but a rise in combined consumer and advertising spending, forecasted to reach $1.18 trillion in 2012. It’s the rise of what USA Today called “zippier media” — in other words, digital.

Direct marketers are best suited to tackle the waning atten­tion of buyers, incremental spending and increasing data. So, why isn’t money and acclaim pouring in for direct? Perhaps, because DM will never — and shouldn’t — change from its roots in measured media buys, informed by careful testing and data analytics. To raise the profile of the industry, direct marketers should assume an essential second role at the table during every brand’s strategy meeting: campaign coordinator.

At Ad:tech Chicago last week, SEMPO’s Jeffrey Pruitt, EVP of corporate partnerships at iCrossing, told me that, while accountable media online is increasing, there is no one person who oversees search, banners and video, and manages digital asset optimization. He suggested search marketing agencies were best poised to fill this gap. The idea extends to a similar issue that CMOs face: How do you know where to spend when your marketing budget is siloed and your sales figures are not?

This week’s Spotlight features Publicis’ John Farrell, who affirms that direct has a valued role in the marketing mix, while its authority in the digital world is yet to be fully realized.

True, integrated marketing is difficult to achieve. But it will increase with the participation of those with an understanding of direct’s economics. Direct marketers should assert their right to not only be at the table, but to lead the discussions of results-based spending and targeted media.

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