Should Direct Marketers Manage Interactive Media?

Here’s what Sari Tamilio, MBS said in an October 3 issue of DM News.

“When interactive marketing was in its infancy, many experienced, knowledgeable and intimidated direct marketers stood back and let elite teams of techies and dot-com cowboys direct their forays into the rapidly evolving world of transactional Web sites, e-mail campaign management, and search engine optimization…

Most organizations realized soon enough that the strategic aspects of marketing had been misplaced in the hands of the technologists…

Control of interactive marketing gradually returned to the marketing sphere, albeit to specialists who have a high level understanding of technology as well as deep expertise in direct marketing.” 

When hiring companies look at their growth in the online channel, they sometimes take off their thinking caps forgetting that database marketers are not programmers and seasoned direct marketers are not postal or print production experts. Similarly, online marketers are first and foremost direct marketers. They understand the one-to-one marketing opportunities that are inherently a part of the Internet better than most marketers.

The email and Internet specialists I know and respect are first and foremost direct marketers who have spent a lot of time planning and implementing the online channel. But their deeper skill lies in their command of multi-channel marketing, analytics and breakthrough test concepts.

To this day, I still see web management under the complete control if the IT department in many companies. It’s comparable to putting the print production team in charge of creative and marketing.

Finding high quality technologists for online marketing in the IT area is fine. But give the content and overall management of the web site to the marketers who know how to leverage it for the marketing tool it is.

What are your experiences working with web site management? How should companies organize their online channel?

Posted on October 4, 2007 and filed under Direct Marketing Strategy.