INTERACTIVE: Why direct marketing is better suited to the Web than advertising - NEW-MEDIA CLINIC

We’ve covered in some detail on these pages the battle that is raging between traditional ad agencies and Web specialists for control of the new-media market. But another, perhaps more significant, fight is looming between ad agencies and direct marketing companies.

We’ve covered in some detail on these pages the battle that is

raging between traditional ad agencies and Web specialists for control

of the new-media market. But another, perhaps more significant, fight is

looming between ad agencies and direct marketing companies.



There is a dichotomy between these two groups that is less easily

reconciled than that between the first two. Ultimately, whether via

acquisition, equity swaps or straightforward, old-fashioned partnership,

agencies and Web specialists will end up working together - as many

already do - harmonising their different skills to benefit the client.

There will always be a role for the Web specialists, just as there is

for production companies in TV advertising.



The possibility of advertising and direct marketing agencies working

together on a client’s new-media activities is less viable. It is an

either-or situation - and it’s one that direct marketers feel supremely

well equipped to win.



Why? George Wiedemann, chairman and chief executive of Grey Direct

Worldwide, says: ’Relationship marketing is the ultimate use of this

medium.’ So move over, admen, with your penchant for 30-second

brand-building ads, the Net is no place for you. The skills required to

make the most of the Web, with its one-to-one customer interaction and

database management, are those of the direct marketing specialist.



For all these supposed natural advantages, however, I have seen little

evidence to date of direct marketing agencies delivering interactive

new-media solutions for clients. Is this because they haven’t done any?

Or is it because they’re not as good as ad agencies at shouting about

the work that they do?



In my opinion, the latter is more damning than the former. It’s probably

closer to the truth. Ad agencies are better at making their work - and

therefore their clients’ brands - famous. And, whatever the medium,

whatever the short-term marketing objectives, this is still key to the

long-term survival of the brand. You might not need those 30-second TV

ads forever, but don’t discount brand-building. The ability of ad

agencies to deliver in this regard is their trump card.



Topics

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).