Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Direct Marketing Skills Still Valued

In these turbulent economic times, it's refreshing to see some good news for our industry. It seems that the core skills of database marketing and analytics continue to be valued by employers. From BtoB Online's Daily Report:

"Two-thirds of marketers (67%) says resources for database and analytics to support online marketing efforts call for the most marketing investment this year, according to Alterian, an enterprise marketing company, which released the results of its fifth annual marketing survey on Tuesday."

Interesting that this survey calls out "online" marketing, but we'll take that! Database marketing and analytics expertise are definitely transferable.

We challenge direct marketers to think outside the box and consider how your skills can apply to many different areas of marketing. Even if you've only had specific experience in, say, direct mail, so many of the disciplines you use can be translated to online marketing. And, if that is where companies are investing, then it might be a good idea to highlight your resume with examples of how your skills can improve online programs.

Here are a couple of examples that come to mind immediately:

  1. Apply segmentation strategies to e-mail campaigns. While e-mail remains an inexpensive channel, it's no longer good enough to blast the same message to your entire list (and then do it over and over and over again). Increasingly, e-mail marketers are segmenting their customer and prospect lists and presenting the appropriate offer and message. They're starting to understand the importance of understanding how frequency impacts results. Who better than traditional direct marketers (who may only have segmented a postal mailing list so far) to teach e-mail marketers how to mine their database and understand customer segments?
  2. Use ROI techniques to understand and measure the effectiveness of social media campaigns. Like database and analytics, social media is another area that corporations believe that they need to invest in (or miss the boat). As a leader in using numbers and results to justify your direct marketing spending, take those skills over to the world of social marketing. Attempt to quantify every investment (even if it's only the costs of someone's time taken to blog, for instance). Articulate to senior management, for example, how your social marketing efforts are targeting your market with pinpoint precision. Simply take your deep understanding of building your ROI for each campaign/program to the world of social marketing, and you'll be ahead of most of your competitors.
The above are only two examples of how you can migrate your direct marketing expertise to other, potentially more high-growth, areas within your organization.

Think about where your specific skills can apply (or have applied) to high-growth online marketing initiatives. And, please, share them here!

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