Whither thou goest direct marketing, will new media follow?


Companies must rebuild their sales and marketing infrastructures from the ground up to benefit from new technology and media.

10/24/2011 – Ha! When I wrote this, termination of the Space Shuttle was not yet official.  Today, the shuttle is history, but the dysfunctional silos are as entrenched as ever.

“Whither thou goest, I will go,” The Book of Ruth

Space Shuttle

Although the antiquated NASA Space Shuttle program was terminated, decrepit and dysfunctional marketing systems are entrenched.

As electronic media draws more attention in large organizations from marketers and their budgets, leaders face the grueling task of deciding how and where to reallocate resources.   The advent of new media is the perfect opportunity for companies to redesign their marketing and communications functions from the ground up.  These organization were built in a world where the primary functions of advertising and public relations were clearly defined.  That reality is gone.  Because they have nothing else to replace it with NASA keeps sending up the Space Shuttle even though it is on its last legs.  They know they have to build a whole new vehicle and Chief Marketing Officers should look at their departments the same way.

The role of direct marketing is a focal point in the debate over where to go and what to do. In Media Post’s E-mail Insider Blog, Chad White wrote about the Changing Roles Within Direct Marketing including a recent 39% decline in direct mail advertising revenues. White says that the expedient trend has been for corporations to shift ownership of e-mail marketing and all social media to the direct marketing departments. Another option is to create all-new social media departments. Neither of these options addresses the fact that most corporate marketing departments have entered the 21st century in the same shape as the Space Shuttle.

At the very least, use this “era of change” as an opportunity to cut silos, and not create new ones.

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