Direct Marketing: Evolving and Enduring

Monica and I just presented the "Crash Course in Direct Marketing" for the Kansas City Direct Marketing Association (KCDMA) last week. It was 19 years ago that I attended this same session. Then it was called the "Basics of Direct," presented by copywriting great Pat Friesen. 

As Monica and I worked on the presentation for 2016, I had a serious feeling of deja vu. So much has changed in nearly two decades—and yet so much has stayed the same. The tenets of effective direct marketing are aging well in the new world, reinvented with new names and executed through new channels and the pace increased exponentially. And yet, they endure. 

Talk to people about what matters to them—It's at the core of "new" ideas like content marketing and personas. But back in the day, we rocked it old school and called it good old benefit-driven, customer-focused copywriting. 

Testing—Google may have increased what testing can be done and how fast we can adjust course, but the concept of test ... test ... improve ... was started by database marketers well before the dawn of the Internet. 

And the 80-20 rule? That old Pareto Principle still applies for most of my clients

I could go on ... 

The real goal is to avoid settling in any one point of time. There is no golden era of marketing. Take what works from the past … learn what’s coming around the bend … keep evolving.

It’s what’s challenging, but also what’s exhilarating!

Thanks to KCDMA for letting us be part of it.