Direct marketing techniques from the 1980s

Dec 11, 2015 by Mark Baines Category: Marketing

Direct marketing techniques from the 1980’s still underpin our digital marketing now, even in B2B.


Back in 1990 Direct Marketing was the growth industry – a bit like Digital Marketing now.

It offered precision and accountability, music to the ears of sceptical CFOs.

It offered ongoing engagement, through database marketing.

And it offered marketers the chance to control the UX, just like now – and with it, the outcome.

Remember all those envelopes hitting your doormats? The whole experience was scientifically managed – you were easy meat in the hands of the data-driven direct marketer!

It didn’t matter if you were marketing to consumers or to businesses – the techniques were much the same.

So what has changed, especially if you’re marketing a service for professionals, or a product for engineers or techies?


Apart from the obvious answer – that it’s all digital instead of paper-based – not very much.

Email is still the strongest tool in the marketer’s armoury. Leads are still nurtured and moved towards a sale with scientific precision , thanks to sophisticated marketing automation tools supported (or driven) by advertising and social media. The final coup de grace – the sale – is now delivered by an ecommerce website rather than a catalogue.

Not much difference really.

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