Direct Marketing Day happened in Vancouver this week and the news on the eMarketing front was at once both heartening and disappointing.
But then, any time you get traditional direct marketers into the same room with passionate emarketers, there are bound to be mixed feelings! But given the BC association’s recent relaunch as BCAIM – the BC Association of Integrated Marketers, I was hoping to see some positive trends.
The good news – many of the presentations at least gave a nod to the importance of the Internet as a component of successful “integrated” marketing campaigns. The closing keynote by Marilyn Stewart was refreshing as she championed the DM world to accept the reality that “the web is all about direct marketing” and if you ignore, you’ll lose the opportunity to be part of it. Sadly, she gave the same warning in 2000 and very few listened.
The less heartening news? As a dyed-in-the-wool, passionate beyond reason, email marketer I was disappointed at the simplistic approach to online marketing our city’s bright lights of the advertising world seem to be taking. Online lead capture, email campaigns, search optimization, rich media – all thrown is as afterthoughts with very little focus in almost all presentations. Affiliate marketing? Viral marketing? SMS? Search Marketing? Conspicuous by their absence.
And then there was the claim that it costs the same investment to send a printed DM piece as an HTML email. I’ve spent the last couple of days trying to figure those numbers out – they don’t work in my math world.
I came away from the conference feeling that although the news is positive on the whole, like the deep south in the 50’s we’re still a long way from integration.