DM Specialists are in Danger of Loosing Their 360% View

There is a tendency for non-direct marketers to break out online marketing as something other than a new medium made to order for professional direct marketers. They treat it as a new business genre that highly experienced direct marketers cannot support or contribute to in some significant way.

Another inappropriate segmentation in my mind is that CRM professionals are somehow not direct marketing professionals who happen to specialize in a specific activity. Knowing several CRM practitioners, I do not believe that they view their chosen area of specialization as an industry that is separate from direct marketing. But business leaders often structure it that way within their companies.

These niche segmentation schemes hurt the future of all direct marketers because they artificially limit the scope of the discipline. It just reinforces the perception that direct marketing consists of a set of tactics rather than an over arching strategy.

This professional segmentation has already evolved in the medical and legal fields. Some in those professions suggest that this overspecialization encourages surgeons to cut and the Internist to medicate for the same problem. As with all specialists, they recommend what they know and not necessarily the best solution.

I don’t know about you, but I think there exists an important role for the referring physician to look at the problem holistically in order to refer to the specialists he or she believes will solve the medical problem with a balanced perspective.

If you are a CRM specialist, would you consider yourself a weak customer acquisition strategist? If you have a history of beating controls in the direct mail arena, would you comfortably tackle a DRTV control? The list goes on.

We often talk of the lack of industry cross-pollenization. What about the need to take specialties out of their silos to make them accounting for results of multi-channel marketing efforts?

Posted on October 15, 2007 and filed under Direct Marketing Strategy.