September 09, 2007


This message comes to us from the most recent e-mail newsletter of the Seattle Direct Marketing Association:
  • "The direct marketing industry has been changing at a feverish pitch. First came email, then blogs, RSS feeds, rich media, word of mouth, viral, social networking and user-generated content. The SMDA is evolving right along with it, and we'll soon be introducing a new tag line "Thinking Outside The Mailbox" to help define the SDMA for the future."
Let's compare and contrast that statement with what DMNews told us last week:
  • "In case there were any lingering thoughts that the printed word is dead, consider this: Hewlett-Packard has launched a $300 million-plus, integrated marketing campaign that reflects just how important printing-related services and products are to the company ... the campaign is one way HP is trying to drive its Print 2.0 strategy ..."
Maybe it has always been this way, but the marketing voices we have to listen to seem to want to polarize us.

It's like going to a direct marketing Farmers Market, where everybody is SCREAMING at you about how 'right' they are for your business. You find a dizzying array of booths ...
  • The "print" booth.
  • The "e-mail" booth.
  • The "compiled list" booth.
  • The "list rental" booth.
  • The "portal advertising" booth.
  • The "affiliate marketing" booth.
  • The "shopping comparison site" booth.
  • The "search marketing" booth.
  • The "RSS" booth.
  • The "blogging" booth.
  • The "facebook/twitter/social-graph" booth.
  • The "word of mouth and viral marketing" booth.
  • The "PR" booth.
  • The "loyalty marketing" booth.
  • The "multichannel marketing and operations" booth.
  • The "business intelligence and SAS programming" booth.
  • The "web analytics" booth.
Each booth has a small but fiercely loyal tribe of believers. Each tribe is able to "prove" to you why they are right. And each tribe "is" right ... to an extent.

I want to be presented with a bowl of direct marketing cioppino. Instead, all I see are cutting boards full of uncooked ingredients, arguing with each other about why each individual ingredient is best.