Direct Marketing Monday – Oct. 17, 2011

It’s just after midnight, so I can officially call this a Direct Marketing Monday.  I was going to post a few links for you to check out (and there were some cool things I stumbled upon last week), but I ended up reading something that just got something going inside me.

A new study (and I should say another study) was completed recently that focused on younger demographics and how they respond positively to direct mail, especially when compared to other forms of marketing such as social media.  While having additional information is always beneficial, I’m starting to get tired of reading studies like this for a variety of reasons.

The first reason I’m starting to get tired of studies like this is that they typically start with the assumption that younger demographics are linear in how they respond to marketing.  There is always this “Wow, you won’t believe this!” sentiment worked into the analysis, where we are supposed to be blown away that young people respond well to direct marketing.  Sure, a lot of media focus has been placed on social media in the past few years, but that’s the thing: a lot of it has been media driven.  What tends to be forgotten a lot of the time is that different products and services end up lending themselves better to different styles of marketing.  Why should we be surprised when we read that younger demographics still respond well to direct response?

I believe some of the problem also lies with individuals who work within direct marketing.  There are always doom and gloom stories floating around about direct marketing, talking about how the industry is dying, nobody wants to receive mail pieces, etc., but then we always see other reports to the contrary.  Direct marketers need to have some more faith in what they are doing; the goals they are trying to achieve.  Direct marketers can’t fall victim to the idea that every other sort of marketing is doing so much better, because when you take a look at the numbers, that story just doesn’t pan out.

If direct marketers are worried about their line of business, they should be taking a look at what they can do better.  Does the average age of the direct marketer skew older?  I don’t know, but we certainly can’t let our thinking go the way of old Grandpa Jones.  The great thing about social media is that it has made it easier to create integrated campaigns where you can really tailor things to your liking…including pushing to a direct mail piece or using that as your starting point.  You can bring in broadcast, radio…there are so many options.

Anyway folks, have a great Monday and if you’re in DM, stay positive!


  1. avatar Alan fagan Says:

    This is a great article. It really captures how I feel about the way direct mailers present what they do nowadays. We need to start seeing new communication channels as potential collaborators not competitors…

  2. avatar Jay Says:

    Thanks Alan! It would be nice if we could start to change the mindset of direct marketers…there’s so much more we can be doing.

    Thanks for the post and please keep reading!


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