What's in store for DM in 2013?

Three key considerations for direct marketers this year.

Russell Parsons

Be creative

It is a tad early to call it a full scale recovery but there continue to be signs the UK economy is taking its first tentative steps towards a return to health. Call it new year naïvety but a series of reports have UK PLC both hopeful and expectant of better days to come.

This in mind, direct marketers will need to address any complacency that may have crept in over the value of DM in a recessionary environment.

The proven Return on Investment DM offers companies propelled the channel into the spotlight a few years back. DM was sold and seen as a cheap, cheerful and effective means of boosting sales. What it is rarely celebrated as is an arresting piece of creative that will resonate beyond a cursory glance.

If DM is to be considered something other than a stop gap in challenging economic conditions, a little thought needs putting in 2013.

Be diligent

If direct marketers take away anything from the events of 2012, it should be that the regulatory spotlight is on them.

The use of data, first through the introduction of the Cookie law (or European Union Data Privacy Directive as it is less snappily known) in May, and then the unveiling of the data protection directive , proved regulators in the highest offices were keeping a close eye on how direct marketers are using data.

The new blight of the nation, SPAM texts, have also been recognised by regulators as a scourge that must be addressed. The Information Commissioner’s Office signaled its intent to crackdown on rouge practitioners by fining the owners of a marketing company found guilty of sending millions of unlawful spam text messages a whopping £440,000.

Elsewhere, the ICO and Ofcom have also promised to get tough on cold callers after complaints about unsolicited phone calls leapt last year.

All told, direct marketers need to be aware, many of the old and new direct marketing tools are under scrutiny. A momentum is building only likely to quicken in 2013.

Be social

No, not a call to dump mail but recognition of the likes of Twitter and Facebook are making in demonstrating their effectiveness.

Twitter has moved quickly to try and avoid the mauling Facebook has received from critics that panned it for not doing enough to measure effectiveness, partnering with Nielsen on campaign impact and expanding its insight teams to prove ROI potential.

Facebook responded to its plummeting share price by launching a raft of tools of its own to help marketers convince their paymasters of social’s worth.

Acceptance of advertising using social media is changing, as are brands’ attitudes towards the opportunities offered for DM. The movement will only quicken in 2013.

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