Read my Lips – DM is a Way of Marketing Not a Channel

By , Principal, Malcolm Auld Direct 

One has to wonder how good we marketers really are at communication. I’m pondering this again because for the second time in about 10 days, I’ve seen Direct Marketing referred to as a media channel.

And the reference hasn’t been by fresh-faced graduates who don’t know any better. In one document by a major financial brand it was used in the context of how to integrate new media with traditional DM, whatever that means?

The other reference was in a survey by my good friends at Marketing Magazine. See the image below.

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A New form of Social Engagement: Marketers can Finally Interact with TV


Until now, TV networks have struggled with dwindling advertising, as advertisers become more and more focused on one-to-one customer engagement. This is now changing with the phenomenal growth of smartphones and social, which are paving the way for one-to-one interaction to take off in the world of television. Marketers are now dealing with a new form of customer engagement and a growing force; the masses talking back on TV through social media. The question is how are marketers going to react?

In 2011, the MIT Technology Review published a cover story which focused on the emergence of Social TV analytics and its applications in the TV advertising industry. It stated that of the approximately 300 million public comments made online worldwide every day – about two-thirds of them on twitter – some 10 million, on average, are related to television.

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Special Announcement: Newly Launched Marketing Expert Groups

ADMA invites you to join its new Marketing Expert Groups. Formerly known as ADMA Councils, the new look Expert Groups are exclusively for marketers with a community focus on progressing direct, data and digital driven marketing.

Our Expert Groups have been designed for people who have an interest in advancing themselves through knowledge, technology and discovery. These groups will be the core of marketing excellence. Each group will debate on a particular issue or on a range of issues; they will gather and contribute to the overall advancement of our marketing industry.

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10 Must-Haves for your Marketing Plan

By Nina Hendy 

As the list of ways to promote your business grows, working out the most effective way to spruik your business can be half the battle. That’s why it’s vital that small-and medium-sized businesses put a solid marketing strategy in place and make sure they don’t deviate from the plan.

Here are 10 things your plan must do.

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Turning Human Understanding into a Business Advantage

Last week ADMA spoke with Rory Sutherland Vice Chairman Ogilvy Group UK around the topic of behavioural economics and how to influence responses.

Marketers have long been searching theories on what impact a person’s decision-making process through consumer physiology. Many scientists are leaning towards neuroscience; however we need to align ourselves to a recognisable and more practical solution and refresh our thinking to turn human understanding into our business and social advantage.

Data has been a key factor for direct marketers in turning this understanding into a workable advantage but according to Rory, you need a model of behaviour first before you start interrogating it and allowing your data to do the work. If you don’t have an interesting model to work with, you may not know the questions to answer.

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Whitepaper Spotlight: The End of the Line for Marketers

By ADMA’s Multi-Channel Acquisition Council

It seems the marketing industry has always discussed and been divided by “the line”.  It has categorised marketers and agencies as specialists in either above-the-line or below­ the-line, but in recent years, the line is blurring as more marketing efforts take on a full 360° approach.

ADMA’s Multi-Channel Acquisition Council has challenged this ancient thinking through their whitepaper “The line doesn’t exist. An overview of how above-the-line media are becoming direct”.

The whitepaper delves into the various channels and how each are changing and have evolved to become direct.

How is online advertising becoming direct?

Once the realm of annoying pop up banner ads and spam emails, online advertising has had to work hard to rebuild its credibility. Peter Davies from Adconion feels that the online industry has created a rod for its own back by allowing the medium to become over commoditised by concentrating on clicks; “there is more to online than this”.

It is this type of blind  focus on Cost Per Click or Cost Per Acquisition in display advertising  that Peter Davies feels is detrimental because there “is nothing about the user, instead they are focusing on the media objective and only sometimes the business  objective. It should be about knowing who these people are and what messages will make them engage and ultimately purchase a product online or in the real word. That is where demographic targeting, behavioural targeting and retargeting come in.”

Then behavioural targeting finds customers whose online surfing patterns and habits indicate they will respond well to a specific offer. Jupiter Research states that 65% of online shoppers say that they pay more attention to behaviourally targeted advertising, than contextually targeted advertising.

Peter Hunter from iProspect  feels that only about 10-15% of companies are making the most of online  targeting capabilities- “the  full suite of online’s opportunities hasn’t  been  fully explored yet” … so there  are a wealth of opportunities out there  for those  who can get  this right.

How is TV becoming more direct?

TV is at a pivotal stage in its lifecycle where it needs to adapt. TV has historically been seen as one of the most effective mediums for mass communication, but in today’s world of interactivity, it has to change to still be relevant. Advertisers are demanding greater targeting and accountability, which will be the way of the future. TV will become more direct – much like a computer IP address leaving advertising and marketing more targeted and relevant.

One interesting point from the whitepaper was the fact that TV is becoming a two way medium capable of direct marketing rather than just a one way medium of advertiser message to consumer’. Only time will tell with this medium can offer marketers….

How is radio advertising becoming direct?

When TV was launched, many thought radio would die. Reality has turned out far from that as radio continues to play an integral part in the lives of many Australians.

From a marketer’s perspective, radio has some distinct targeting advantages. Radio is a live omnipresent medium that is consumed at home, at work, and in the car, offering unique day-part targeting opportunities. Ralph Van Dijk from  radio specialist agency Eardrum  claims that with radio  “we know what they  are doing at that point in time, and can tailor  our creative accordingly to be more targeted, relevant and effective.”

In terms of direct response, the link between radio and online is well established, which according to Nielsen, over 80% of people who hear a relevant radio commercial referring to a website have visited that website  as a result.  Digital radio means more channels, more listeners, and from an advertiser’s point of view, this all means customer segments are now easier to target. More channels means brands  have the opportunity to develop integrated branded programming to add  value to distinct customer segments.

How is mobile becoming direct?

Mobile has always seen itself as having a highly personal relationship with its user­ the consumer. Marcus Giles from Telstra Media states that the power of the consumer is continually growing and consumers should be seen as partners, especially as they can reject you before they have even met you! Getting consumers to “self-select” their interest for relevant opportunities is key. For example Audi used Telstra Mobile to reach their specific target customer for the launch of a new Audi. Direct  integration into Audi’s CRM system provided a real time view on customer queries, meaning that a hot lead could be acted upon  almost immediately. Morgan Stanley’s renowned Internet analyst, Mary Meeker believes “more users may connect via mobile devices than desktop PCs within 5 years”.  This statement is already becoming reality in Australia­ Telstra reports that approximately 75% of users to some high profile online properties

In summary, the whitepaper discusses the personal and portable nature of mobile which allows marketers to be relevant and valuable based on the consumer’s location, behaviour and current situation.

How is print advertising becoming direct?

Print media is one of the earliest forms of communication. In fact you could say that print -media launched mass media and marketing from what had been up until then one to one communication. Joe Talcott from News Ltd said in the whitepaper that press is often labelled as “the poster boy for a dying media” but Joe feels this is far from reality. Peter Hunter from iProspect highlights how offline also drives online. “In the past we have seen clients stop their offline advertising, because search was delivering the results. However when they stopped advertising, all of a sudden the search results dropped off.”  Peter Hunter feels that about 67% of search comes from an offline source such as direct mail and so stopping this source is not recommended.


This paper has shown that each of what was seen as the “traditional above-the-line” mediums are fast becoming capable of direct marketing, signalling the end of the line. Traditional mass market channels have to adapt to a more interactive landscape to remain relevant. The old patterns of dominance are changing given the greater insight into consumer behaviour that is now available with intelligence.

It’s clear from the whitepaper that increasingly sophisticated and selective consumers can abandon channels if they fail to stay relevant. Even the supposedly ‘new’ technologies are re-inventing themselves and their application to adapt to this rapidly changing environment. It’s an exciting time to be in direct marketing -some channels will prove to be less effective than others in the increasingly crowded media landscape, but all will provide greater insight into consumer behaviour. All channels now have the capability to be direct it is now up to the marketer to adapt their thinking and finally remove “the line” for good.

The whitepaper was produced by Allison Ells and Chris Maloney from ADMA’s Multi-Channel Acquisition Council. Click here to view the full whitepaper on ADMA Dialogue.

Interview: Crowdsourced Creativity for the Uninspired Marketer

Interview with David Alberts, Chief Creative Officer, MOFILM (uk)

Crowdsourcing has been an incredibly popular topic last year and will inevitably be a hotter topic this year as even more brands and agencies jump on the band wagon. This morning ADMA spoke to the Chief Creative Officer, David Alberts at MOFILM (UK), who are the curators of what is known as ‘crowdsourced creativity’, on the topic of crowdsourcing and his thoughts on the future. MOFILM – which is effectively the world’s largest creative department – is giving traditional ABL advertising and the creative industry a run for their money by supplying an endless source of fresh inspiring films and advertisements; all developed by the very people that brands view as their customer.  In fewer than three years, MOFILM has crowdsourced a community of more than 35,000 creative prosumers (producer-consumer) to produce 8,000+ advertisements and films for the world’s leading organisations.

David joined the MOFILM team after previously working for the full service agency, Grey London, where he found himself recommending TV and big budget advertising in which he thought if the roles were reversed i.e. he was the client, it wasn’t the thing he would invest in. In a world of new media, and with a record number of prosumers with access to digital cameras etc, there are fewer roadblocks for people to crack into the industry. “The the way the world is now, it used to be the cost of cameras etc. that used to be the barrier for people coming into industry, now it’s a different world” said Alberts. Now working at Mofilm, Alberts has access to over 35,000 film makers on the books; the result being that brands can get totally fresh, cheaper and innovative ideas by leveraging the power of these creative crowds.

When I asked Alberts if he thought crowdsourcing was the way of the future for marketing and advertising, he responded by reciting what Paul Edwards, Strategic Director at General Motors said when asked the same question at Cannes last year: ‘At the moment it works very well with my agencies, but who knows in the future.”

One interesting but obvious fact Alberts made was that there’s ‘currently a huge demand for content, and not enough supply’. So what does the future hold? There’s no doubt that crowdsourced content is in its element; it’s a wonderful way to source creativity outside the confines of the marketing and advertising industry’s walls. The counter argument is that it’s a good excuse for brands and agencies to use when they can’t come up with the creative thinking themselves. Not to mention it comes at a fraction of what’s normally paid for creative work.

Is crowdsourcing here to stay? Or will it die out as consumers feel the work and lack of return? Would love to hear your thoughts!

David is the Chief Creative Officer at MOFILM.

MOFILM work for top-tier brands, such as Coca Cola, Samsung and Chevrolet…

Watch out for a full interview with David through the ADMA Dialogue, this March.

Three key factors facing Direct Marketing community in next three years

By Rob Chandler, Head of Marketing Sciences, BMF.

Historically Direct Marketing has been perceived as being at the grubbier end of marketing. We have often misconstrued as direct selling. Many have defined us as a “channel” within the marketing team with its KPIs confined to “response” numbers on a marketing plan. We have been accepted only as the necessary evil, the only clearly quantifiable figures to the bottom line.

The world has changed. Dan McFadden’s Nobel Prize winning paper (Nobel laureate for economics in 2000) proved the case that connected people’s behaviour (at an individual level) with macro-economic theory. His studies fueled a tsunami of amazing thinking from behavioural economists and psychologists around the world, and as it entered the mainstream in books such as “The Tipping Point” and “Predictably Irrational”, the broader marketing community slowly came to the realisation that many of the traditional advertising and marketing mechanics are fundamentally flawed, and that the most effective way to engage people is to get them to act and interact. To do something differently. To change their behaviour.

While I believe the challenges presented by the proliferation of data and technology should not be underestimated, we have been talking about them for years and they are now well charted. I believe that the most significant challenges we as an industry face are more fundamental. Below I have outlined two global and one local challenge our industry will face over the next 3 years.

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