The evaluation process highlights the primary difference between direct marketing and other strategies such as digital marketing.
Digital marketers as a whole do not evaluate their effectiveness based on financial data as clearly as direct marketers. Note the key digital media evaluators in the graphics below. Digital marketers -- especially content and social media practitioners must evaluate their efforts based on key indicators of results rather than actual sales data.
Let's begin with a sample list of the evaluation indicators used by digital marketers.
Notice than none of the evaluators incorporate evidence of incremental sales. These are useful for determining prospect and customer engagement. But no evidence of increasing sales or ROI are clearly evident.
Direct marketing strategists, on the other hand begin and end their planning based on sales data.
This is not to say that these two approaches to evaluation do not complement each other, but that the approach to solving marketing problems between digital and direct marketers compliment each other.
I should mention that digital marketing is not a marketing strategy in the same sense as direct marketing. Digital marketing is actually a media strategy because it focuses on the digital channel.
In fact, the complete direct marketing strategy always incorporates the digital channel in the planning process. Social media, landing pages, email and web page support all contribute to the effectiveness of direct marketing.
Digital media marketing is no more a marketing strategy than broadcast marketing. That's why the wise marketer should use the direct marketing strategy to drive all marketing campaigns as a way to measure program effectiveness.