So where is direct marketing going, and how should it get there? Condensing the report's insights from 35 direct marketing leaders, the DMA offers the following findings:
"Where will direct marketing will be in five and ten years?"
The 35 experts queried for the report represent 19 industry categories, including:
• Catalog/retail: "Traditional retailers will become more direct, and direct merchants will look to stores as a means of competing with larger rivals and growing their brands," according to Neil O'Keefe, the DMA's vice president for the catalog and multichannel segment.
• Agencies: Sid Liebenson, executive vice president and director of marketing for draft fcb, predicts that "direct marketing will become more integrated with marketing in general" in the coming years, "but these mainstream marketers will be reluctant to call what they do 'direct marketing, and to the rank and file, even 10 years from now, they'll still associate direct marketing with 'mail order' or--forgive the expression --'junk mail'."
• Interactive Marketing: According to Alan Moss, Google's director of online sales and operations, "the current state of the economy may accelerate movement down the path that direct marketing has already begun traveling over the past few years--the path towards increased measurability."
• Email: Jordan Cohen, senior director, industry relations for Goodmail Systems, predicts the reinvention of email as a "killer app ... able to support all the functionality of a website [streaming video, rich media graphics, one-click shopping, one-click bill pay and more] with the added bonus of being able to push the content to an audience of opt-in recipients."
• Media/publishing: In 2009, Mobile Marketer Editor Mickey Alam Khan expects "resources will be moved to the Internet and even mobile, although those two channels will not be able to pay the bills for most media companies, especially with the way they are set up today."
• Social media: "As social and mobile channels develop, the metrics and analytics available will become more useful to brand and merchandising managers alike. Rather than simple volumetric measurements (how many people saw our YouTube 'viral' video, or 'friended' us on Facebook?), you can anticipate learning about how influence spreads through a network, and across channels," notes analytics expert "Wandering" Dave Rhee.