NORWALK, CT – This is the second post of a two-part webcast conducted by 1to1 Media and Peppers & Rogers Group, where the future of direct marketing and the DM industry is discussed. The title of this webcast is “Where Do We Go From Here?”

In this second of the series, the Norwalk, CT management consulting firm once again brings together the talents of industry experts and practitioners to discuss the changes faced by marketers and businesses today.

Once again, Doug King and Cat Moriarty from the United States Postal Service, and Lois Geller from Lois Geller Marketing Group and Dave Frankland from Forrester Research come together to offer their views on the use of mailing lists, marketing, direct mail and social media in today’s challenging marketing environment.

At the USPS, Doug King is a Marketing Specialist and Cat Moriarty is an Advertising Specialist. Dave Frankland is Principal Analyst from Forrester Research.

The Economy Has Changed Direct Marketing Forever

The economy is the catalyst for change in the direct marketing industry for now and going forward. Both advertisers and consumers have been affected by the economy and the question that is at the top of the minds of marketers and small business is, “How am I going to get people to buy our product or service now that the economy has changed?”

The economy has had an effect on the amount money spent on advertising as well as money spent by customers on products and services being offered through direct mail and other means.

In this webcast Cat Moriarity says that you have to know who your customers are. You have to know your audience. This is an old principle, but it is, nevertheless, tried and true. Not everything that worked in the past will work in the future. You have to pay attention to the trends because they are changing. You have to be proactive and take advantage of the times and move forward.

Privacy and Respect For The Customer

Doug King points out that privacy and respect for the customer are a couple of things that are emerging more and more in the immediate future and actually supercedes the economy as a factor. These will tend to be more lasting because customers will demand more privacy and respect. Privacy and respect for the individual will tie into a company’s brand.

Customer’s will tend to be more loyal to brands that show customers more respect and more privacy. These points have to be taken into account when dealing with a business’s mailing list and any direct mail pieces targeted to consumers. This will most likely be true from this point going forward – for direct mail as well as email.

Brand Building and Direct Marketing

Lois Geller points out that brand building is now in the hands of direct marketing, whereas in the past it was left to advertising to build a brand. Traditional advertising like magazine ads and television are now being used in direct marketing programs because magazine circulations are down and television doesn’t have the weight it used to carry.

Consumers are younger and smarter and the advertising techniques that used to carry much more weight in the past do not have the same effect on today’s audiences. Direct marketing has to be involved in building the brand all the way from the receipt of the message down the line to the customer’s experience with customer service. Marketers have to incorporate consistent branding that will resonate with customers from the moment he or she receives the message to the point of sale and beyond to customer service.