The New Direct Marketing

Direct marketing, at its simplest, is marketing to a targeted list of prospects and customers, making an offer to generate direct response, measuring it and repeating it (with refinements). The thing is, today many, many different channels allow you to do that — from the classic direct channels, to typically brand channels, to crazy channels that have never really been used for marketing before.

Dr. Evil: Marketing W/ Frigging LazersDirect marketing, at its simplest, is marketing to a targeted list of prospects and customers, making an offer to generate direct response, measuring it and repeating it (with refinements). The thing is, today many, many different channels allow you to do that — from the classic direct channels, to typically brand channels, to crazy channels that have never really been used for marketing before. (Seriously, Alexa is a speaker from Amazon that users can use to shop from home through audio and voice recognition, we ain’t in Kansas anymore.)

What do you make of these new channels? Have you had success marketing on social media? What about augmented reality, or 3DVR? The Internet of Things?

The Internet allows you to market across borders and over seas. Have you been able to do that successfully?

That’s a lot of potential … whether it’s potential opportunity of waste is hard to say. And it probably depends on the specific opportunities for your business. When does it make sense for a company to leverage home appliances as part of an Internet of Things marketing strategy? Are you the company it makes sense for?

I can’t answer those questions for you, but I’d like to hear how you’re thinking about them yourselves. What is “The New Direct Marketing” to you?

We are talking about a lot of these topics tomorrow at Direct Marketing Day @ Your Desk. If you want to hear what some fo the industry’s top experts think about The Internet of Things, taking your marketing global, crowd-funded marketing and more, click here to register!

Will the Internet of Things Make Us Dumb?

As CES wrapped in early January, all things shiny, cool and tech were on the top of many people’s minds, from the consumers who want to buy them, to the journalists who write about them, and to the marketers who must, simply put, market them.

Brace yourself, more useless smart devices are comingAs CES wrapped in early January, all things shiny, cool and tech were on the top of many people’s minds, from the consumers who want to buy them, to the journalists who write about them, and to the marketers who must, simply put, market them.

Even my publisher stopped by my desk to get my opinion on the Picobrew, given my experience as a homebrewer. While I still need to do more reading, I’ve had a tough time finding an explanation for how the device actually works and if it brews well, but I did find an article likening it to the Keurig of beer, and well, gross.

Picobrew aside (I swear Drew, I’ll wrap up my research and get you a formal opinion by Spring at the latest), Smart Devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) have been on my mind ever since seeing the following tweet from Sally Ekus, a cookbook-focused literary agent who I follow:

I like tech. I love to cook. And I’m a millenial, so I clicked on Sally’s link and dove into Allrecipe’s “Measuring Cup Trend Report,” (opens as a PDF) featuring information from its 2016 Smart Kitchen Survey.

Some of the report was pretty interesting, but a fair bit of the new IoT product information felt borderline absurd. Like this gem of a product:

Sereneti Cooki Robotic Chef
In the early stage of development, inexperienced cooks and busy, working families will love the convenience of having a robot such as Cooki do the cooking for them so hot, perfectly prepared meals are ready to eat the minute they arrive home.

You know what that’s called? A slowcooker. Trust me, they’re amazing. If you can’t bear the idea of having a “dumb” one, don’t worry. There’s one with wifi that can be controlled with the WeMo app. Bon appétit.

I’ll Pass on the Vibrating Finger Bling, Thanks

Cruising through my Facebook feed the other day, I found a sponsored post for Ringly. Don’t get me wrong … I find new tech exciting and a lot of it blows my mind, like Tesla’s electric car technology and 3D-printed prosthetic limbs. But a ring that tells me, via lights and vibrations, that I have a text message?

Cruising through my Facebook feed the other day, I found this sponsored post nestled between my women’s cycling group post about vehicle safety and a college bestie’s status update:

Ringly Facebook Sponsored PostI actually uttered, “What the …” A ring that pairs with your smartphone to notify you of “what matters”?

Don’t get me wrong … I find new tech exciting and a lot of it blows my mind, like Tesla’s electric car technology and 3D-printed prosthetic limbs. But a ring that tells me, via lights and vibrations, that I have a text message?

No. No thank you.

Now, before I got too steeped in curmudgeoness, I decided to look up Ringly, check out the wearable’s website — which is rather pretty — and read a few articles to better understand the device.

https://youtu.be/C5c06ayfTYs

The video … well, first, a lady prancing rather carefree doesn’t help sell this to me. If she’s so carefree, then couldn’t she handle picking up her phone to read notifications (or just ignore them)? What about the rest of us, juggling work and personal emails, social media notifications, phone calls from our mothers, etc., while still functioning in the offline world?

Then the opening line kills it for me: “With Ringly, you can live freely while staying connected to the things that matter most.”

First World Problem MemeI have SO many problems with this. People need to stop subscribing to this #firstworldproblem that we HAVE to be tethered to our phones. Are many of us? Yes. The solution? Put it down. Turn it off. You don’t need MORE solutions beyond that.

In other words, I strongly feel I don’t need to spend $195 for a heavy “smart” ring that will only last three years (you can’t replace the battery) to live freely. Maybe this makes me a bad millennial, or bad techie, but I just can’t do it.

Reading a review of Ringly on Tech Insider, the ring the reviewer received was described as bulky, with one coworker telling her it looked like “a toy that you might find in a gumball machine for 50 cents.” Another article from TechCrunch explained how, unlike the AppleWatch or Pebble, Ringly only notifies you — it doesn’t let you take action.

I understand that the team from Ringly is trying to stake its claim on the wearable-as-classy-jewelry market. But it failed on the classy jewelry side, and to be honest, it has me wondering if they really asked themselves the most important question: “Why?” Why are we doing this?

A bulky, vibrating, lighting-up piece of jewelry that is possibly more distracting than having your phone out? Is this a piece of wearable technology that is really necessary?

You tell me. Leave me a comment below!