Lazy marketers are in danger of killing off direct marketing, warns expert

Lazy marketers are in danger of killing off the direct marketing business and customer relationship management (CRM) is a “fundamentally flawed” concept, according to Paul Gostick, international chairman of The Chartered Institute of Marketing.

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By  Tim Addington Published  June 19, 2005

Lazy marketers are in danger of killing off the direct marketing business and customer relationship management (CRM) is a “fundamentally flawed” concept, according to Paul Gostick, international chairman of The Chartered Institute of Marketing. Gostick, who delivered a speech at the first Direct Marketing conference and exhibition, said that “permission marketing” – where a company gets consent from a customer to send them information – was the way forward, and if done correctly could lead to higher response rates than traditional direct mail shots and email blasts. “We as consumers are over communicated with. I think the industry is moving into lazy marketing because it is easy, rather than thinking who am I targeting and who is it designed for,” said Gostick. The expert said that 60% of all direct mails are thrown away unopened, and the “perceived wisdom” that a customer response rate of between one and five percent was good, ignored the other 95% of customers who received direct mail information. “I want marketing to take a more responsible line. We need to identify how we can better target customers and build relationships that will generate long-term success. Lazy marketers are in danger of killing marketing,” Gostick said. He also told delegates at the two-day conference that CRM was a “fundamentally flawed term” and should be renamed customer managed relations (CMR). “CRM implies that we as marketers are managing customers, and if you say that is right, then it is the organisation that is deciding how the relationship works,” Gostick said. “Customers ultimately are in control, what we have got to do is make is easier for them to choose us.”

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