We Predicted The Future Of Cross-Media. Or Did We?

We predicted the future of cross-media 20 months ago. Read it here.

We decided it was time to evaluate the accuracy of our prophecies. And boy, are we feeling smug!

What we said then:

• Personalized URLs – “…Personalized URLs are more than a gimmick,” we urged, explaining how Personalized URLs and Cross-Media Services are the future of direct marketing. Well, they are now the present. Marketers we speak with call us because they want Personalized URLs now, and not because they are considering a Personalized URL campaign sometime in the distant future. Personalized URLs have come of age and are here to stay.

• “Marketers are looking for programs with quantifiable ROI,” we said. This prediction is now truer than ever, as marketers are now looking for programs with quantifiable ROI ONLY. In fact, it’s a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for most campaigns. During the recent downturn, this trend accelerated. Why? Because with marketing budgets slashed companies were forced to do more with less. Now that the economy is recovering and many new opportunities are emerging, the good old days of “spray and pray” are ancient history. Marketers today are searching for solutions with demonstrable success.

• We also predicted a trend where commercial printers would “transition to a solutions provider, and offer higher value services…” That transition from old-school to new-school direct marketing is in progress, and if anything, has accelerated in recent months. Printers today have changed and are now acting like real marketing companies. In fact, our recent trip to Philly for the OnDemand Conference showed us just how far many of these innovative firms have come.

• “Imagine having the ability to take your clients’ direct mail list and append it with Personalized URLs and IMBs [Intelligent Mail Barcodes] that enable direct mail tracking with the United States Postal Service…,” we asked then. No more imagination needed. IMBs are a reality and are commonly used across the industry today. What’s more, by combining email triggers and IMB delivery data, many marketers are sending out triggered email communications to mail recipients the same day their mail has been confirmed to be in-home. This approach has been shown to boost response by as much as 30% in some cases. Click here to learn more about this interesting technology.

Okay, we’re now wiping the smug look off our face, because there are a couple of things we didn’t point out at that time. 1. Mobile marketing has taken off after a long delay. In fact, we feel this year is the year that mobile marketing finally comes of age, and it is definitely has a bright future in the world of Cross-Media Marketing. Recent technology advances such as QR Codes are definitely playing a big role in this trend. 2. Big advertising agencies have now begun to adopt Personalized URLs and other cross-media tools into their clients’  campaigns. They might have come late to the Cross-Media party, but many large agencies – including Wunderman, BBDO, Draft FCB, G2, etc. – are getting into Cross-Media in a big way.

Stats update: We said in the article that “broadband penetration in the country surpassed the pivotal tipping point of 51 percent last year. So, it isn’t surprising that according the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), 43 percent of all consumers prefer to respond to direct mail promotions online…”
The updated stats now say that broadband penetration is 62 percent, and 52 percent of consumers now prefer to respond to direct mail promotions online.

Can think of a million more points that could burst our “smug bubble”? Hit the “Comments” button and knock yourself out.


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