Farewell to 2009
As this is my second-to-last column of the year (next week's space is dedicated to my take on the tired argument that direct mail and catalogs are dead; take a guess which side of the argument I'm on), I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a happy and healthy holiday season, and a great new year.
Personally, I'm glad that 2009 is coming to a rapid close. As the saying goes, "May you live in interesting times.” This year was certainly interesting. In fact, I can't recall being bored for one minute in 2009. Instead, I was challenged to do my best for my company and clients.
The direct marketing industry has seen many assaults in the last year, from the struggling economy to the further fragmenting of the internet to companies succumbing to the self-fulfilling prophesy that direct mail is dead.
That said, there was a bright spot for me in 2009: the coming of age of social media. What a great tool for marketers to engage consumers and provide customer service.
Marketers will be presented with many challenges as they enter 2010, but many opportunities as well. I look forward to reporting and providing my opinions on opportunities for you as direct marketers to take to the bank in 2010.
Jim Gilbert is president of Gilbert Direct Marketing Inc., a full-service catalog, direct marketing and social media agency. His LinkedIn profile can be viewed at www.linkedin.com/in/jimwgilbert. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gilbertdirect or read his blog at gilbertdirectmarketing.wordpress.com/.
Jim Gilbert has had a storied career in direct and digital marketing resulting in a burning desire to tell stories that educate, inform, and inspire marketers to new heights of success.
After years of marketing consulting, Jim decided it was time to “put his money where his mouth was" and build his own e-commerce company, Premo Natural Products, with its flagship product, Premo Guard Bed Bug & Mite Sprays. Premo in its second year is poised to eclipse 100 percent growth.
Jim has been writing for Target Marketing Group since 2006, first on the pages of Catalog Success Magazine, then as the first blogger for its online division. Jim continues to write for Total Retail.
Along the way, Jim has led the Florida Direct Marketing Association as their Marketing Chair and then three-term President, been an Adjunct Professor of Direct and Digital marketing for Miami International University, and created a lecture series, “The 9 Immutable Laws of Social Media Marketing,” which he has presented across the country at conferences and universities.