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Direct Marketers Could Rule the Search Engine Advertising World

I’ve always enjoyed working with, and learning from, direct marketers since there are so many parallels between their field and Internet marketing. And the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that all Direct Marketers should make search engine advertising a key part of their service offering.

I’m currently working on a presentation on search engine advertising that I am giving at the Canadian Marketing Association’s Direct Marketing Conference later this month. (It’s shaping up to be a lively day of learning and discussion; check it out.) What keeps resonating with me is the fact that Direct Marketers are so well suited to become masters of this relatively new discipline. My concern, however, is that many of them may not realize this.

Just consider what your average Direct Marketer brings to the search engine advertising table:

  • They are big believers in measuring the ROI of advertising;
  • They already have a test and measure mindset;
  • They recognize their craft is both an art and a science; and…
  • They have decades of transferable best practices that can be applied to search advertising.

In other words, before they even launch their first ever search advertising campaign, Direct Marketers already possess some of the best ‘marketing DNA’ to make this tactic sing. Do they still have a lot to learn about the intricacies of search engine advertising? Of course they do, but at least they come to it with the right frame of mind to begin with.

Smart Direct Marketers have already embraced, or will soon embrace, search advertising as a key tool in their marketing arsenal. Failing to do so will be a great loss for all concerned.


  1. Joy Boyson
    Joy Boyson November 7, 2006

    Hear! Hear!
    Bill, thanks for this. Please see the article I wrote that the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) published in early 2004:
    Triple Threat: The 3Ds of CRM

  2. Jeff Lancaster
    Jeff Lancaster November 13, 2006

    Hey Bill,
    Subconsciously or not, we appreciate the inadvertant plug for our Decide DNA search management technology 🙂
    I personally shake my head when I speak to the odd direct marketer that thinks that search is not for them. Indeed if there was an Internet media discipline ideally suited to this crowd, this is it.

  3. Leigh
    Leigh February 9, 2007

    I don’t think direct marketing and digital marketing have anything more to do with each other than say, event marketing or PR (but hey, I was one of the people who always thought putting the Direct and Interactive groups together at agencies was a business strategy and NOT a customer communication strategy).
    To me, digital marketing is a mind set – and if you are used to controlled linear decision path models vs. chaotic networked models, you are in fact, less likely to ‘get it’ and change your mind set than if you had a blank slate and come into the internet advertising world from scratch. That’s not to say there aren’t many very smart direct marketers who have made the leap but again, I think you can say that about almost all the marketing disciplines.

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