There’s a lot about direct marketing that doesn’t make sense.
For example, if you ask seasoned general marketers to identify the most important element of a marketing communications campaign, most will say it’s the creative idea. But talk to direct marketers and they’ll swear creative is least important, coming in third behind target audience and offer, which combined represent as much as 80% of a campaign’s impact.
Another example: The technology research firm Aberdeen Group recently reported that 65% of marketers segment customers based on demographic characteristics. I’m not surprised. When I ask my students at Columbia about the relative importance of demographic vs. behavioral data, they invariably vote for demographic. But if you ask a DMer, the answer will be that behavioral data beats demographic every time.
The thing about direct marketing is that it doesn’t have to be logical. Or, as the great agency head Bob Hacker used to say,