Digital takes direct out of Direct Marketing

The last two days I’ve been hidden away in a conference room in Stockholm. We’ve been about 40 individuals who have been chosen to work in the Jury for Guldnyckeln, Swedens first competition for direct marketing. It’s interesting to see how the challenges of marketing slowly but surely erases the borders between different communication activities. When you look at the DM sector I think this is more visible than

anywhere else. It’s exiting and of course something that cant be avoided. DR will change more than ever the coming 10 years.
Let me share what I think the challenges of direct marketing will be in the future.

No geographical position
Today people write ‘no advertising’ on their doors. Tomorrow those doors wont even have a mailbox. The consequense of this will be that you don’t have access to people and their adresses. Over time we’ll loose the ability to reach people who’re a certain age, who live in a specific area and that can be demographically and socially pinpointed.
Environmental challenges
Sooner than we think we’ll have a paperless scoiety. Old rules and old ways of getting people to open that direct marketing activity of yours will work no more.
The contact details of the future
Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters? They’ll probably do a better job than any of us in hunting those customers of ours down as they will be more anonymous than ever before.
Screens vs paper
Paper’s been around for ages. We’re only just learning how to make people do what we think they should so on screens. Hell, most people don’t even know how to get them self to do things on screens today.
One to many vs one to one.
On the positive side. Direct marketing has been said to be the one true way to do one to one marketing. However, compared to well performed one to one digital marketing todays direct marketing is like hunting ants with a flame thrower. Lots of hits but lots of firepower.
On demand
Need more sales? In digital, activate your marketing efforts now and follow up this afternoon. This is what we’ll expect from tomorrows direct marketing tools.
Direct marketing of tomorrow will always contain social activities. Costs of marketing has to go down. Effect has to go up. This is where social components of campaigns will play a big role.
A/B testing
Of course optimization has been an important component of direct marketing. But digital will make us sant more. Rapid prototyping and A/B testing on the fly will change how we research, plan, perform and follow up campaigns in a near future.
Conversion funnels
Already today we expect direct marketing activities to lead to activation of some sort. Digital doesn’t change this but it ads many new steps that needs to be catered for. Usability, code, screens, retention, etc etc. This will prove to be great challenge for both brands and agencies and it will take years before we truly see the outcome of digital in this area.
All in all the digitalization of marketing turns everything in the field of direct marketing up side down. Brands have to change. Agencies have to change. Schools have to change. Even the way you create have to change.
The biggest challenge of em’ all? Personally I think the fact that most success cases of future direct aren’t possible to duplicate. We learn about how brand X did that and brand Y did that. But the results are always results of coincidences that cant be replicated the way you can replicate success factors in traditional marketing. Technologies change fast, the consumer changes fast, the channels are new and even the products and services changes fast.
I guess if you sum of the demands on future direct marketing in one word its: FAST!



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