Personal Direct Digital Marketing

Josh GordonWe write a great deal about the retail industry here at The Lunch Pail. The retail industry is a major player in the world of direct digital marketing because it acts as "the establishment" within the direct digital marketing user group. In fact, according to a recently released report on retail interactive marketing from Forrester Research's Shar VanBoskirk, retail is responsible for 18 percent of all interactive marketing spend. Eighteen percent!! That figure is substantially more than any other industry.

The report, entitled Retailers Boost IM Spend To Drive Online Sales, contains some great industry nuggets of information Shar and her team are famous for. The report estimates that retailers will continue investing large sums of the marketing budget in interactive tools, but the breakdown of technologies being invested in may change.

The prevailing theme for the report, and for direct digital marketing in 2009, is that more money will be spend on maintaining current programs and optimizing lagging programs than will be spent on acquiring new customers.

The report makes brief mention of “on-site optimization” and more personalized in-market display advertising. While the prediction of personalized pricing models communicated through targeted ads makes sense, the real value of personalization and optimization is seen in the connection between every piece of content a company communicates.

For example, highly personalized, effective search or display advertising designed to drive traffic back to a website makes sense, provided the optimization and personalization efforts are carried forward throughout the entire online brand experience. An effective personalized ad that provides the incentive for a consumer to click through to a landing page is wonderful, but if the landing page does not contain the personalized information, the effort is pointless for the consumers and wasted for the company. Even more, if that consumer leaves the landing page and visits the company’s homepage, the personalized experience is likely over.

The value in direct digital marketing is connecting all of these communications – from display and search through landing pages through the onsite experience (not to mention email and mobile) – with equal relevance and effectiveness.

Interactive marketers must remember – as we watch the days tick off of an amazing decade in online and direct digital marketing – that personalization and optimization is valuable to consumers and must not be short-lived or temperamental. As consumers become more savvy online, the importance of connection by creating a personalized brand experience everywhere online has never been more important.

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