Direct Marketing Hot Topics

April 14, 2008 at 11:54 pm 24 comments

Q:  I am currently a student learning about direct marketing. I was wondering what are some hot topics in Direct Marketing today? And how do you keep up with the changing times? Like what websites, magazines, ezines or podcasts?

A:  Some of the hottest topics in direct marketing today are centered around Social Media/Marketing.  Much of the reason why (in our humble opinion) is the tendency for the industry to be more focused on “pull” rather than “push” marketing.  In other words, it is more imperative than ever to get your potential customers to come to you because they are interested in what you are saying or offering, as opposed to them responding to a traditional direct marketing message.

That said, traditional direct marketing channels still work well when used effectively.  The point here is that social marketing is becoming much more widespread, and we think will continue to become another mainstay of a solid multi-channel marketing strategy.  And, even the traditional DM companies are coming on board with blogs and podcasts, etc., to ensure that their customers and prospects alike see them as experts in their respective fields.  So, Social Marketing is our number one “hot” topic for direct marketing.

We’ve seen some great sites on how to keep up with changes in DM and just overall reporting on what’s going on within the industry.  One of them is a Facebook Group called, “What I Saw at the Direct Marketing Revolution.” This group was started by a really smart guy named Robert Rosenthal of The Mothers of Invention creative agency.  If you visit his website, you can sign up to get on his “educational updates” e-mail list.  He’s also got a great blog called “Freaking Marketing” that you may want to take a look at.

Another great direct marketing blog is Ron Shevlin’s Marketing Whims.  While this site was created as a place to talk about  Ron’s experiences in supporting the marketing needs of the financial services industry, Ron’s comments are right on when it comes to effective and intelligent direct marketing.  And, he is very witty in his writing, so it’s fun to read his posts.

Finally, we write (again in our humble opinion) a good Direct Marketing blog that features case studies on Monday’s and Great Links on Friday.  We report on the world of direct marketing as we see it — and feature success stories of those who do it right whenever we can.

Aside from blogs and social media groups, I think that the American Marketing Association has a good, comprehensive site that reports on all things marketing — not just direct.  They also have a zillion free webcasts that you can sign up for that are really interesting to attend.  You tend to get a bit of a sales pitch from whomever it is that sponsors the webcast but they normally present a case study with a company, and talk about how they effectively solved a direct marketing problem. So, it’s all good stuff.

Hopefully, this gives you a couple of good ideas to chew on.  Best of luck on completing your education!

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