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 been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.