The Truth About Industry Salaries (and how they detract from hiring the best employees): Catalog Marketing Hiring Tips, Part 3
For the past two weeks, I’ve offered my take on what’s wrong with the catalog-marketing hiring market. I did this after a survey published by Bernhart Associates (www.bernhart.com) stated that 24 percent and 53 percent of direct marketing companies were having a “difficult” and “somewhat difficult” time finding top-notch talent.
This week, I submit my thoughts on the state of our industry in terms of hiring salaries. As a preface, it’s been a long, uphill battle, but I think that direct marketing is finally starting to get the recognition it deserves. It seems that the rise of the Internet has helped legitimize our industry. (For more on this, I suggest you read The Editor’s Take in the June issue of Catalog Success, either in print or on our Web site here in the current issue.)
With the advent of a single response device (the URL), our industry has been transformed. Direct and catalog marketing are no longer seen as the redheaded stepchildren of marketing services (with apologies to redheads and stepchildren, of course). Nowadays, all marketers, merchants and businesses need to be at least somewhat direct marketing savvy. More and more businesspeople are applying direct marketing principles to their businesses.
Don’t Get Crushed
It’s either market direct, or be crushed by the competition.
Furthermore, as catalogers, we have an edge over our direct marketing brethren. Catalogers are not seen as junk mailers, and we set the standard for the direct marketing industry. We offer consumer value with great products, ease of purchase and superior customer service.
Thus, I think it’s time for the world to view the direct marketing process and career path as a profession. We have very specific trade tools, as do doctors, lawyers, architects and accountants (the big four “professions” in my view), right?
Major universities now offer master’s degrees in direct and interactive marketing, and I anticipate more programs such as these will pop up in the near future.
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.