By: Rudy Arnold (rudy@anchorcomputer.com)
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Compressed Evolution Can Be PainfulAnalog and Digital

The evolution of Marketing occurs so quickly that it seems like by the time you try a new technique, it’s already yesterday’s news. Change is the norm in Marketing. You might be better served trying to keep up with its vernacular instead (kidding, of course). Living in this world of constant change you need to choose your marketing strategies carefully, but leave enough room for flexibility to change directions if required. New isn’t always better. In fact, if you look hard enough you might recognize the methodology being presented to you as older one, just with a new twist, or even just a different name.  If it sounds familiar, it probably is just hear them out you might be surprised.

Direct Mail; It’s Finished Now, Right? Wrong!

In its infancy, Email was considered nothing more than an annoying gnat to Direct Mailers. I remember my first job in email marketing, as a deployment specialist for high-end retailers, and found myself being called a Spammer more often than not.  Trying to explain the nuances to friends and family often lead to heated debates on the subject.  The CANSPAM ACT of 2003 changed all that separating legitimate mailers from actual spammers. During its explosive growth, Email, quickly became the contact channel of choice.  Email Marketing was cheap, fast and produced results. Even if the results didn’t equal a Direct Mail campaigns, multiple mailings made up the difference and was still cheaper.  Direct Mailers suffered as a result, often being referred to as snail mail campaigns, and often coming under fire for getting too expensive to maintain.  In the wake of the digital explosion that followed, digital advertising became the channels of choice. Channels like Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC), Google AdWords and Microsoft Bing Ads, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and paid SEM, Social Media Marketing (SMM) to name a few. The digital glut continued unimpeded by its Analog counterpart, but never quite going away no matter how many articles were written touting its demise. The postal service, born in 1775 under the leadership the first Postmaster General, Benjamin Franklin, was feeling the effects of the Digital Boom.

Frenemies Now

Direct Mail is alive and well, and beginning to fight back.co-exist with its digital counterparts. Check out the State of Direct Mail. We are beginning to see what the future will look like when these two one-time competitors begin to work together.  In addition, the US Postal service has now gone digital with USPS® Informed Delivery. I personally love the service and use it every day, oddly enough USPS informs me via email.  We are also starting to see marketing plans that include email and direct mail supporting each other’s causes.  We spoke about this at the Long Island Postal Customer Council in May 2018.   We discussed the potential uses that combined Digital channels and Direct mail.

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