Dangerous Extremes in Marketing Analysis

Updated: June 03, 2010

Two quick conclusions can be drawn when analyzing these results. First, the huge disparity between email marketing's perceived death and the others makes me wonder if it is the direct mail and mass marketing folks who are writing about email's death.

The second conclusion is more complex, but begs a follow up question - Why is there such a strong desire to proclaim the death of certain types of marketing?

Very few communications channels actually die off completely. And, if they do, it is a long, slow, and drawn out type of death… the kind we see in old Westerns. Take, for example, the telegram, generally considered a dead medium. Long after old Westerns featured this once advanced form of communication - which first hit the marketplace in 1856 - the telegraph lines became silent. Everyone knows the telegram was not being heavily used in the past decade - or the past five decades - but Western Union did not send its final telegram until February of 2006. After a long, slow, drawn out decrease in telegram usage it was declared dead.

It is for this reason that it is so dangerous to declare the death of a medium. In fact, modern mediums, unlike the telegram, evolve, rather than die out.

Marketers still have a use for mass marketing, direct mail, and email marketing. In fact, the idea that email marketing is being discussed as a dead, or dying, channel lacks credibility. Each channel is evolving in its own way.

Evolving in mass marketing may be a shift from using it as a promotional tool to solely a branding tool. Evolving in direct mail means finding measurable ways to boost customer traffic to offline and online locations. Evolving in email marketing requires more emphasis on lifecycle communications and behavior-based programs.

Direct digital marketing has its role to play in enhancing the evolution of various communications channels. The ability to push personalized and relevant messages to email, mobile, and Web channels with such ease has forced marketers to make budget trade offs during an economic downturn, but those trade offs will likely stay in place. Money once earmarked for direct mail campaigns or TV buys was reallocated to a more accountable, more quantifiable, marketing discipline. That does not mean, however, that mass marketing, direct mail - and certainly email marketing - are dead or even dying out.

Featured Research
  • 2017 Video Conferencing Features Checklist

    If you’re in the market for a video conferencing system, you know that today’s systems offer more features and functionality than ever. Unfortunately, figuring out what you need is also incredibly difficult. more

  • The Contact Center Conquers the Cloud

    Contact Centers have come a long way over the past few decades. Learn how this important asset has evolved into the cutting-edge offerings of today. more

  • The New SMB Phone Systems Comparison Guide

    Does your small or medium-size business need a new phone system? Then you're in luck! Our new, updated comparison guide helps you cut through superfluous information and narrow down your list of solution providers. Get the latest data on phone system features, pricing, and performance metrics in an easy-to-use format. more

  • Contact Center Software on a Budget

    Although contact center software is necessary for a modern contact center, it can be outrageously expensive. Many companies find that their budget bloats during the implementation process. more

  • How UC Can Help Your Business Survive the Holidays

    The holiday season is filled with frenzy and excitement for businesses and consumers alike. Consumers prepare gift lists, compare brands and prices, and begin shopping with a vigor that is not present most other times of the year. For many businesses, the holiday season accounts for a large profit bump at the end of each year, and companies strive to exceed their goals and keep customers happy during this rush late in the year. more