Traditional Direct Marketers Are Obsolete

 When reading trade publications, the news and attending marketing functions, the message is clear. Traditional direct marketers are obsolete.

The speeches and related reading materials coming out today have essentially relegated traditional direct marketers to irrelevance. Their skills are neither understood nor respected.

Just what do these outspoken writers, speakers and trade publication journalists say makes up the "traditional

 direct marketer."

    1. Has long term experience with direct mail, DRTV, telemarketing and other mature channels.
    2. Understands testing, database marketing, analytics, customer profiling, CRM.
    3. Proven management skills running database, telemarketing and direct response creative teams for both in house and external resources.
    4. Possesses little experience with hands on Internet marketing and email campaigns that have grown at an unprecedented pace in the last few years.
    5. Does not operate at the micro level when looking at online or social marketing programs.

This reminds me of the direct marketing movement of the 70's when people with direct mail production knowledge were more appreciated than direct marketing strategists who viewed all media (channels) as testing opportunities. There was little to no distinction between tactical and strategic skills.

In fact, direct response testing know how and response analysis carries little weight with today's hiring managers in the marketing arena. They often do not have direct marketing backgrounds. So such managers sometimes have little understanding of traditional direct marketing skill sets.

First of all, do I have it wrong here? 

Do you agree with this assessment? Are hiring managers missing the boat on this one? Or do they have it right? 

Posted on January 28, 2009 and filed under General.