Direct Marketing in the Digital Age

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Years ago, Direct Marketing meant one thing: direct mail. Mass mailing efforts like targeted letters and unaddressed ad-mail reigned supreme, particularly for those without the budgets for radio and television advertising. Direct Marketing was somewhat niche, and while most Marketers utilized direct marketing in their mixes, they didn’t identify as the niche term ‘Direct Marketer.’ Oh, how times have changed. DirectMarketingAward Today, it’s a digital world, and Direct Marketing is nearly completely driven by the digital ecosystem. That’s easy to believe when looking at email marketing and Google AdWords, but television advertising? First off, what is Direct Marketing? According to Wikipedia, Direct Marketing is defined as:

a form of advertising which allows businesses and nonprofit organizations to communicate directly to customers through a variety of media including cell phone text messaging, email, websites, online adverts, database marketing, fliers, catalog distribution, promotional letters and targeted television, newspaper and magazine advertisements as well as outdoor advertising. Among practitioners, it is also known as direct response. (Source)

Simply put, direct marketing is about ‘directly’ reaching a consumer, rather than mass marketing or advertising. Most Out of Home (OOH) and radio would not be considered direct response, but television advertising, once considered the opposite of direct response, has entered the realm of direct marketing. We’ve entered the digital revolution of television, where only a portion of the populations watches live television. The rest watch programs later (think Rogers on Demand, for example), where they can catch up on their missed programs either by using a digital box or from the applications on iPads. That doesn’t include the millions of subscribers to streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Shomi. And, YouTube is still the largest video streaming service in the world. In the digital age, big data analytics allow companies to know exactly who is watching and when, opening a whole new world of direct response advertising. The Direct Marketing Association of Canada (DMAC) recently published blog “The 2016 Canadian Direct Response Outlook: Feast or Famine,” addresses the trends of direct response in the age of digital, particularly on the subjects of streaming television and viewability. The industry changes are fascinating. While complete ‘micro’ advertising to consumers is still being fine-tuned, the reality is that no marketer can consider himself/herself not a ‘direct marketer.’ It’s a ubiquitous term that encompasses all aspects of a marketing strategy. It’s with this spirit that CAMP has partnered with the Direct Marketing Association of Canada (DMAC) to launch our first ‘Direct Marketing’ Award as part of our CAMP Marketing Awards. The category is open to Canadian Marketers who have launched campaigns that are strictly ‘direct marketing/direct response’, which now includes all of the above types of marketing. We invite any marketing professional that has worked in direct – including direct mail – to be a part of CAMP’s 2016 Marketing Awards. In 2015, CAMP launched our marketing awards to recognize excellence in the marketing community. The awards platform awards innovative and exceptional marketers, and in 2015 handed trophies to organizations like Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment, Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, Proximity/BBDO, and UM at their Gala in October. Nominations are currently open until July 22, and CAMP invites all Canadian marketers to learn more here: https://canadianmarketer.ca/marketing-awards/  

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