Direct Marketing Strategy - 2011 and Beyond

We took a moment to kick around contemporary direct marketing strategy with our own Jim Sellers.  Jim is Senior Vice President of Marketing Services here at Buxton and his experience includes senior marketing and sales positions at FedEx, Royal Bank of Canada, Procter & Gamble, and Coca-Cola. Jim is a graduate of the Kellogg Graduate School of Management and Southern Methodist University.

We caught up with Jim for just a few minutes to discuss the evolution of marketing:

Buxton: Jim, I have a hypothetical for you. Pretend that I am a longtime friend and professional acquaintance. I call you up and let you know that I am interviewing to be the head of marketing/direct marketing for a relatively new, but rapidly growing fast casual restaurant chain.  I am way over my head so I turn to you for advice.  Jim, tell me two or three things a brand should be doing right now that they probably are not doing?

Jim: At the onset of working with an organization like the one you are interviewing with, I typically find opportunities for them to evolve by:

1. Driving their marketing activities from a customer orientation (versus a product orientation)

2. Adopting a stable and measurable customer segmentation strategy, and execute marketing programs aligned to those segments

3. Listening thoughtfully to what's being said about your brand in the social space and act on what you hear (versus just pushing out more stuff w/o listening)

Buxton: Okay, let’s flip that question around.  Can you tell me two or three things a brand probably is doing that they should rethink if not stop all together?

Jim: Easy.  There are a number of bad habits that the rapid and ongoing advances in marketing have fostered.  Likewise there are a number of legacy strategies that need to be revised or taken out to pasture all together.  Tons of flies to swat here, but if I had to narrow it down I would tell you to:

1. Stop thinking about how you want to sell. Invest in understanding how your customers want to buy and invest to make it easy for them to do so.

2. Stop doing primary research where you're unable to identify and score all households based on what you're researching.

3. Stop managing your marketing channels independently of each other. Adopt an integrated approach across channels.

We'll let you digest these do's and don'ts and continue in another blog post. Do you agree with Jim?

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