The death of “Direct Marketing”….

I wrote this a while ago but as we look back on the industry we have served for over 20 years it seemed relevant again.

As I enter into the blogosphere for the first time I was wondering what to write about and I thought one of the most relevant topics to me these days wasn’t necessarily the job market or the economy or the state of recruiting…the most relevant thing was the death of “Direct Marketing”!

Not the discipline but the term. Everything these days is “Multi-Channel or Omni -Channel”.

As a person that started recruiting “Direct Marketers” in 1989 (I was 27 at the time) I grew up with the term “Direct Marketing”. I have watched, with a bit of amazement, at the speed with which the term “Direct Marketing” is being displaced by “Multi-Channel or Omni -Channel Marketing”.

What happened?

It has been a natural and steady progression. I remember when the landscape was full of standalone Catalog and Direct Mail companies? I watched as the brick and mortar retailers’ added catalogs to their marketing mix (remember the battles of who would get credit for a sale). I watched as the internet took hold and everyone started building pretty websites. I watched companies integrate ecommerce into their mix. I watched as everyone started to get it…. and started applying direct marketing disciplines to ecommerce! They create tests; capture data… analyze it, study it and create targeted marketing plans based on the behavior observed!

Now catalog, retail and ecommerce all work together to attract customers and then they share the data they gather from all channels and create new tests and new marketing plans and so on and so on.

As customers we are happy and loyal because the messages we get are tailored to us as individuals… and we like feeling special.

But now we don’t have “Direct Marketing” any more…. it is all “Multi-Channel or Omni-Channel”.

I’m not saying it’s a bad thing it’s just a sort of a… sad thing.