Q&A: Liz Deutch, EVP and global director of customer engagement, Draftfcb

Liz Deutch, EVP and global director of customer engagement at Draftfcb, discusses her new position at the agency and the difference between customer engagement and CRM with Direct Marketing News. Deutch’s career has spanned more than two decades, including roles with Ogilvy & Mather Direct, Ammirati and Puris, Enfatico and Young & Rubicam Brands (Y&R Brands).

Direct Marketing News (DMN): What do you hope to achieve in your new role? Liz Deutch (Draftfcb): My focus here is really to help transform how the global network thinks about direct marketing and thinking about how we want to engage with individuals. I really want to help the network and our clients think differently about the power of direct marketing and how we can leverage relationship marketing. The biggest [challenge] is that direct marketing has a dated connotation to it. I have a firm belief that the foundation of direct marketing will drive what we do going forward and what’s working and what’s not.

DMN: What do you see as your greatest challenge?
Direct marketing has been too siloed. Going forward, we need to think about it in a 360-degree view. We used to have a neat process for pushing people through a purchase funnel. We were in control of how, when and where they viewed our messages. Today, the target audience is more in control, and it’s critically important we think about the implications of all of our programs.

DMN: What does that mean for email marketing?
There’s a future for direct mail and email. Email always will be channel of choice. What needs to happen is that it needs to be thought of in an integrated way. We need to start to think about where people are viewing email now. The penetration of smartphones means we need to optimize how people view emails and what they do once they view them. If there’s a call-to-action that drives you to a website, we should have optimized email and mobile sites so it’s a seamless experience.

DMN: Can you explain the difference between customer engagement and CRM?
People need to think differently about relationship marketing and not think about it in a vacuum or in a dated way. Engagement marketing is the evolution of relationship marketing. We are still trying to foster relationships with customers. Engagement marketing takes it to the next level. It is more active and drives not just to passive customer relationship, but also to active brand advocates.

DMN: You began working for Draft in 1998. How has the industry changed in that time? (Editor’s Note: Deutch left Draftfcb to work for Enfatico and Y&R Brands from 2008-2010.)
The ultimate transformation has been the continuous introduction of new communication channels. If we think about the fundamentals of how we’ve always built direct marketing programs and what works, those fundamentals are sound. The exciting part is the true transformation of what’s happening in real-time in the digital world and making sure we understand how individuals interact with brands.

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