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As digital technology grows, so too does direct marketing

Richard Jones Archive

The biggest trend in the media world today is the growth of digital channels. For people looking to consume content, there are more avenues available to them than ever before - they can find media material without ever turning on a TV or radio or opening a magazine or newspaper. They have numerous devices and websites at their fingertips that can help them find what they're looking for more quickly and easily.

For consumers, this revolution is about gaining more speed and convenience. For the companies producing all this content? The big change is centered around data. Practically every time someone tries to read an article or watch a video online, they end up sharing information about themselves. Maybe it's by filling out a form to subscribe to a content service, or perhaps they "vote with their feet," showing their content preferences by where they click.

Either way, they're sharing valuable information that companies, in turn, can use. This groundswell of data should lead to a rapid rise in direct marketing.

Embracing the data-driven future
According to Marketing Week, the arrival of more data is a major development for the business world because it can help companies bolster their marketing strategies quickly. Russell Parsons, news editor for the organization, argued that the future looks bright for direct marketing.

"Direct marketing is still seen as a pejorative moniker by many, another name for advertising mail or worse still junk mail," Parsons admitted. "But it is a much broader church than that. At the heart of it, it is data-driven communication."

Data is changing everything. Whereas before, companies had to rely on blind cold calls for connecting with new customers, they can now use comprehensive information to target specifically the consumers who will prefer their brands.

Changing budgetary strategies
Companies are already starting to take notice of this potential. The change is happening slowly but surely. Marketing Week recently drew upon survey data from Accenture, which polled 580 senior marketing executives and gauged their opinions on their budgeting strategies. The result was that on average, digital channels were found to account for 75 percent of companies' marketing dollars.

This growth is likely to continue. Broadcast and print media still exist, but companies are increasingly realizing that they're not the best advertising channels because they don't have the potential for gathering and utilizing data. As marketers move forward, a superior approach to managing customer information will be essential.

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