The irresistibly rising statistics of direct marketing expenditures are, perhaps, the great advertising phenomenon of the last 1520 years, in virtually all developed advertising markets. Direct mail, telemarketing, e-commerce, direct response in a variety of media, so-called brand response (where a brand ad carries a response mechanism), and so on have all shown dramatic and mostly consistent growth.
So much so, that it is over-ambitious, these days, to try to comprehend the full range of activity with any degree of confidence.
In this issue of Admap, therefore, we have brought together articles that provide insights into a variety of aspects of the direct marketing scene, which serve both to illustrate the diversity of the marketplace and to suggest some of the trends which may influence it in the future.
First of all, it is useful to consider the context in which direct marketing is growing. The fragmentation of media and the difficulties faced by advertisers of effectively reaching audiences that seem determined to be elusive are well-worn themes. The ad industry's response has been the development of media neutrality, an approach that, in effect, acknowledges the impossibility of mass marketing, and at the same time recognises the rather different contributions different media and different communications disciplines can make to achieving brand objectives.