When I started in direct marketing in 1964, not only were there no blogs and Internet, but there wasn't even "direct marketing." You didn't tell people you did "direct mail," as that didn't smell so sweet. And there was something dank and dark about being involved in "mail order"....

As the decades passed, we started to use other terms to describe what we did. Among them are "Target (or "Targeted") Marketing" and "Relationship Marketing." I haven't heard those terms used too much recently (though there is, of course, Target Marketing Magazine), but they came into mind today as I was reading through a document emailed to me.
The document is a creative strategies presentation put together by Danny Flamberg of Prescients, a technology-driven marketing company specializing in prospect nurturing. Among many other points, Danny urges his client to–
* Eliminate anything that distracts from clicking through.
* Make it easy, fast and worth it to transact with us.
* Engage the reader by making everything about the reader.
* Focus copy on reasons to take a single intended action .... click on the personalizing landing page.
So here "Target/Targeted Marketing" takes on a much broader meaning. We're not only talking about list/media selection, about "narrowcasting," but also about the message being targeted or focused. And the most important point of focus is on the prospect or customer. Too often (and here's another passé term) "one-to-one marketing" selects out individual prospects and then presents a message that's about the product.
Too often .... even in emails .... does copy move away from getting the reader to take the next step in the relationship. These are basics that carry through decades...no matter what you call direct marketing.

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Lee Marc Stein is a direct marketing consultant and copywriter with over 40 years experience. He has developed and executed direct marketing programs for a wide variety of marketers in the publishing, insurance and financial services, nonprofit, technology, and business-to-business arenas. Current clients include Effectiveness Solutions Research, Entertainment Publications, Long Island Children’s Museum, National Grants Conferences, Rickard List Marketing, Travelers Insurance, and a number of direct response agencies.

As a direct response agency executive, Lee worked with companies like Chase, Colonial Penn Auto Insurance, Dial Corporation, Hertz, Mead Johnson, The Money Store, and U.S. Airways. He also held marketing management positions at Standard & Poor’s, BusinessWeek, and McGraw-Hill Information Systems Company.

Lee taught at NYU and Hofstra, and has spoken at 100+ industry conferences. He was a Founder of the Long Island Direct Marketing Association, and is currently on the Board of Directors of the Direct Marketing Association of Long Island.