What is that that you say you do for a living?  “Customer Engagement”?  “One-to-One Marketing”?  “Advertising Targeting”?  “Direct Media”?   Perhaps the recent explosion of  terms to describe what direct marketers do is a result of being focused on job one – connecting with customers in measureable and repeatable ways – and less about the terms themselves.   Richard Madden, Chief Strategy Officer of Kitcatt Nohr Digitas in the UK poses an interesting idea in Marketing Week magazine.

“Far from being a thing of the past, I believe that the real direct marketing revolution is yet to happen. And it may occur in the finance department, not the marketing department,” Richard says in the article.

“The biggest obstacle to the adoption of the direct idea has been the way in which value has been measured by businesses. For good historical reasons, value has been attached to product lines.   However, the direct idea means attaching value to customers as well. In service businesses especially, having a view of the current and potential value of customers and prospects is a transformational way to manage investment. And the only true way to deliver on the ‘customer centricity’ rhetoric beloved of turn-around CEOs,” he says.

Richard’s quick column is worth a read, as it discusses the new level of empowerment that many direct marketers feel in our modern marketing age.  As DMA CEO Linda Woolley often says, DMA represents a “horizontal” market of data-driven marketers, that is not aligned to singular vertical industries, but is the connective tissue for all business.  Every business today is dependent on data-driven marketing  In fact, our industry – and the flow of data between companies that make customer connections possible – is a $156 billion industry, according to the Value of Data research from the Data Driven Marketing Institute.

Viva direct marketing!  (Or whatever you call it.)

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