So,…the Early Fall semester is well under way and students are fully engaged in their learning. A big question that really does come up quite often is the one about value. “What value will this education really bring me?” For me, the answer arrived rather quickly. (And it’s not the first time!) Direct Marketing (IMC616) has been a very informative course for me thus far due to the fact that it helps the practitioner of integrated marketing communications move beyond just a social media perspective and into maintaining a profitable mindset focused on the value of one-to-one transactional and personalized communications. The essence of direct marketing is focused on direct and interactive marketing from an IMC perspective and includes database marketing, direct marketing message strategies across multiple media, direct and interactive marketing metrics and the role of direct and interactive marketing in IMC campaigns. We can talk about tactics all day long but if we don’t focus on measurable results and increasing our campaign effectiveness, then, we’ve already lost.
IMC616 helps put the spotlight on calls to action and the need for marketers to “always be testing.”
Recent online discussions have centered around the real value of direct mail. Some people (myself, I must admit!) see direct mail as an outdated form of communications with very little return on value. That is far from the truth! Direct mail has a certain nostalgia that few mediums can compete with. Opening a piece of mail with your name on it is enticing and a journey away from mass communications. Personalization is powerful. Okay, so I’m now pushing direct mail on this blog and that’s all fine and dandy. Here’s the real world application part I was referring to above.
I recently met with a client who’s been in business longer than I’ve been on this earth. They focus in a particular niche that makes B2B communications critical to their business longevity. The conversation of digital marketing came up and, of course, I did my best to push this thing we call integrated marketing communications. We talked about Pay-Per-Click advertising and response rates. Any good IMC student who’s been paying attention in class could have seen the opportunity from a mile away! I brought up the topic of the response rates for direct mail and how this medium is still very relevant for building new business relationships and driving loyalty. In fact, I used one of my professor’s posts and brought up the point that “the money is in the mail!”
Now we know the answer to the real world application question posted above.
IMC is the real deal. Businesses (should) use it everyday regardless of profit orientation, purpose, and position. The value of a seamless communication strategy that touches customers at the right place at the right time is immensely valuable and not to mention real! A bit of research…
Despite mixed signals in the economy, more than 72% of marketers and marketing suppliers believe direct and digital marketing are well-positioned for future growth, according to a report from the Direct Marketing Association. (Source)
Direct mail and direct/interactive marketing is the real deal.