In recent times, everyone is seemingly more interested in social media, and internet marketing. The growth in the use of technologically advanced gadgets have shifted the focus from traditional marketing methods, to the cyberspace.
Earlier marketers used traditional methods like direct selling(door to door), direct mailers, and the like. The recent innovations in technology, have made it easy for a marketer to contact a person, and for a person to be contacted by marketers. The number of ads that an average individual is exposed to every day, is humongous. Establishing trust on cyberspace is becoming increasingly difficult.
Marketers are moving to the internet to reach millions, but the difficulties that they face are numerous. Spam, in its all forms, integrity of the online customers (or their profiles), authenticity of any demographic data collected over social networks (I know of a man who says he's 24, but actually he is 44!), constant distraction of the customers, all make it a very difficult task. You might ask why do marketers still do it? They do it because it is easy, and it is less expensive than traditional methods. Marketing communication (unless dynamic) over the internet and various virtual social networks, is like a firefly, having a short lifespan ranging from few minutes to few months.
So lets come back to our original question, Is Direct Mail Dead? The simple answer is NO. Nothing is dead, and nothing can be dead. Marketing, at its grass roots, is nothing but, reaching out to a person, who has the need, to know, like, and trust you. Now that we know how establishing trust over internet is difficult, the question is pretty much answered. Direct mail, if used wisely, and with careful selection of the content (copy), innovative designs, and printing (depending upon the purpose and the customer database), is still a very powerful tool which can win you customers.
The best scenario would be to use a mix of both. Personalized printed communication leading customers to your website, or videos, especially if used in conjunction with QR codes, will bring balance between both worlds, real, and virtual.
This question was submitted by one of our readers, Nithin, who asked "Internet has made communication easier and faster than it ever was. Does it make traditional direct mail ineffective?"