Tough times are silver lining for direct
CONTACT: Editor-in-Chief Carol Krol
(646) 638-6184, firstname.lastname@example.org
How’s this for an attention-grabbing headline, courtesy of the Associated Press: “Here we go again: Another big
down day for Dow.” As I write this column,
the Dow is going berserk again in a major
stock sell-off on the heels of poor economic
reports and European debt woes.
It is down double-digit percentages since
July. We have all watched our 401Ks take a
hit in the past several weeks, and prognosti-cators on and beyond Wall Street are again
wringing their hands over the potential of a
double-dip economic recession in the next six
to 12 months.
The Lowdown in this month’s issue addresses the roller-coaster market’s effect on the ad
world, between the Dow, the downgraded
Standard & Poor’s rating and the last-minute
shenanigans around the nation’s debt-ceiling
negotiations (page 8). Some of our sources
cite business as usual, but others note spending slippage among advertisers.
As we wrote in our own view in The Lowdown, these realities do have an effect on
marketers, just like professionals in nearly every sector, and another recession — if it happens — is going to be rough across the board.
It is well known that smart CEOs try to capitalize on tough times by cutting waste and
investing in things that grow business and expand market share, but they’ll only invest in
what will pay off. That’s where direct market-ing, with its measurability, wins the day.
Tough times only reinforce the requirement
that marketers justify every single dollar
spent. That means not just account for it, but
prove the value of that investment.
Like stock market investors, advertisers are
unsure where to spend ad dollars. They’re
looking for safety, security and back-to-basics.
They want to be able to see measurable results. Direct folks should take advantage of
that. This is the moment.
Direct execs can turn that spending slippage
into a dramatic shift, a refocus of budgets and
strategies toward the most solid investment
any marketer can make: direct marketing.
They want accountability? Direct market-ing’s got it. Transparency? Ditto. Flexibility?
Done. Predictability? Yep. Hard numbers
that prove ROI? Definitely.
Tough times are when DM shines. They can
prove it every inch of the way. That ought to
get the attention of skeptics in the C-suite. ■
➜ Nick Stamoulis, presi-
dent and founder of Brick
Marketing, praised the
concept that “customers
should be understood by
their potential lifetime
value to the company” in
the August main feature,
This is a great point of
view with which to ap-
proach b-to-b marketing.
Building a relationship
with your repeat custom-
ers is worth much more
than just a repeat order
every six months.
➜ Mark Schmulen, GM of
social media at Constant
Contact, praised the
August On the Beat:
Email analysis, “
Marketers leverage Facebook
for email acquisition and
It’s not a question of
which channel is better.
We have found that they
work best when combined
into an integrated strategy. As a brand, you need
to be using both social
and email to engage with
customers and prospects.
In the August Spotlight,
“A special occasion at
Hallmark Cards,” Direct
Marketing News incorrect-
ly quoted Hallmark CEO
Don Hall Jr. about which
year was one of the most
challenging in his com-
pany’s history. That year
In August’s On the Beat
“Web analytics boost
e-commerce sites,” Robert
Gilbreath’s employer was
listed incorrectly. Gilbreath
works for Calendars.com.
Edward Gala’s title was
incorrect in the August
Vertical feature, “B-to-g
marketers shift focus to
digital and social channels.” Gala is VP of sales
operations marketing at
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