Editor’s Note: Planning Ahead? The 3 Places You Need to Be — Now and Tomorrow17 Sep, 2010 By: Thomas Haire Response
Many would-be sages over the years have opined on “the future of direct response marketing.” Heck, after almost 10 years writing in this space, I’ve been a “would-be sage” more than once. However, if you’ll indulge me … here I go again!
Recent discussions around the hallways here at Response seem to keep centering on three different areas where direct response marketers either need to be today, or must get to tomorrow. In fact, there has been much consideration of these areas in recent stories in the magazine and in various sessions at past Response Expos. What are they? The words simply roll off your tongue:
Retail. Mobile. Social.
The expansion of the retail universe for direct response products in recent years has been well documented — and continues to be in this issue (see page 46). And now, many retailers — both brick-and-mortar and online — also have seen the light and are capitalizing on the benefits of using direct response on TV, online and in print (see page 38). This gelling of the retail and DR universes only promises to continue and expand, making retail an indispensible part of any DR marketer’s future.
Similarly, thanks to recent technological developments and the explosion of the smartphone market, mobile marketing appears to finally be on the cusp of widespread success in the United States. Many in the direct response space have been wondering what shape mobile would take for its marketers. Of course, this line of thought underestimates DR marketing itself.
There is no technology that is a more natural fit for direct response-style marketing than mobile marketing. And now, one company believes that it can bring traditional direct response marketers into the future by creating a sales app designed to create the scale necessary for DRTV products to succeed in the mobile space (see page 8). Certainly, others will look to push into mobile shortly, but both the marketers who use direct response and the agencies and vendors that specialize in it must act quickly — if they do, they can become undisputed leaders in the space.
Finally, social media marketing has generated much buzz. From YouTube to Facebook to Twitter and many other outlets, companies big and small are looking for ways to best utilize these outlets to their advantage (see page 64). While there are many questions surrounding these outlets — How do you measure them? How do you monetize them? — there’s no question that consumers are flocking to these locations online and spending a ton of time on them. Savvy marketers are already finding interesting ways to use social media as a supplement to other direct response marketing methods, as we’ve written about in these pages in recent months. Again, DR marketers and their agencies and vendors — with their experience in measurement and tracking — can take a leadership role in this space.
Retail. Mobile. Social. They are the future of direct response.