In the past, traditional direct marketing efforts such as direct mail were enough to reach consumers, because these were the channels used most for marketing communications. Back then, marketers didn’t need cutting-edge software or discerning marketing systems to find customers. The sophistication of direct marketing was fairly easy: mail a lot and hope it got a return on investment.
However, time spent with traditional media is down, and time with digital media is up. A Nielsen study in October 2011 found that 40 percent of tablet and smartphone owners use their devices while watching television on any given day, with 60 percent of those checking email both during the program and during commercial breaks. A Yahoo! study from 2011 puts the number of multiscreen users even higher when including a laptop or desktop computer, up to 66 percent. These numbers will likely increase dramatically in 2012, and the lesson is simple – digital offers plenty of options for consumers, and consumers are responding in large numbers. Email, mobile, and web marketing offer consumer’s easy access to information and purchase options, and social media like Twitter and Facebook make connecting with companies simpler and more personal than in the past. The question becomes: What do marketers need to make sure every new path to purchase is covered?