Lots of pompous pseudo-intellectual new media advocates talk almost daily about the rise of YouTube, Facebook, blogging, podcasting, RSS, and other electronic social media — and the demise of what they derisively call “intrusion marketing” — mostly direct mail, commercials, ads, and the like.
So to these young geniuses, I pose a question.
If social media and other forms of electronic two-way communication are making traditional “dead tree” media obsolete, why hasn’t direct mail — perhaps the most intrusive of the paper-based marketing media — disappeared?
According to the Winterberry Group, total U.S. direct mail spending in 2007 was $58.4 billion, an increase of 18.2% over the $49.4 billion spent in 2004.
If “no one reads direct mail anymore” as one blogging consultant told me recently, why are advertisers spending more than $58 billion a year on it?
Are they insane? Do they love to throw away money?
Or is someone in this electronic era actually (gasp) opening, reading, and responding to advertising (intrusion marketing) sent through the U.S. Postal Service (an archaic, old-fashioned channel)?
Source: DM News, 3/31/08, p. 8.