Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
With Successful Direct Marketing Methods, Bob Stone and Ron Jacobs have succeeded in creating a truly comprehensive resource for any firm seeking to get involved in direct marketing as a means of reaching their current and potential customers as well as giving advanced instruction to organizations already conducting direct marketing campaigns. In five sections covering over 600 pages the authors manage to deal with all aspects of direct marketing in a useful, practical but not overly simplistic manner. Unlike many other books which claim to be the definitive resource for direct marketers, this book is not a simple re‐hash of the same old material that has been floating around the direct marketing world for the past decade.
Section 1, titled “Direct marketing essentials” is comprised of Chapters 1‐9 of the book. In this section, the authors deal with the strategic aspects of direct marketing campaigns, how direct marketing fits into a firms overall business model, and how to get the most out of any direct marketing initiatives by coordinating those activities with the other operational activities of the firm.
Section 2, titled “Media of direct marketing” takes up Chapters 10‐14. Here, the more traditional media (e.g. telemarketing, direct mail, etc.) are discussed not only in terms of traditional strengths and weaknesses, but also in the context of how newly emerging twenty‐first century techniques and technologies are changing more established ways of applying these tools.
Section 3, titled “Internet direct marketing” is represented in Chapters 15‐17. This is where the authors really set themselves apart. Other books tend to devote only a single chapter which discusses the very basics of marketing on the web, but these three chapters delve deeply into the issues which need to be addressed in order to be successful in internet marketing and they also explain how to deal with these issues. In an era where the internet is pervasive in virtually every aspect of our lives, it is remarkable how little has been written which deals with direct marketing on the web on more than a superficial level.
Section 4, titled “Managing the creative process” (Chapters 18‐20) does not so much break new ground in terms of its discussion of the creative process as it does show, in a very detailed manner, how to effectively and efficiently implement the creative process. Creativity in any marketing communication is a tricky area to deal with. Too many times, in an effort to gain the receiver's attention, marketers fall into the trap of “entertaining” rather than effectively delivering the chosen message. Section 4 helps to put the creative process into an actionable context through which effective communication can be achieved.
The final section, Section 5 titled “Marketing intelligence” (Chapters 21‐24), like Section 3 tackles topics that are often ignored, in this case data modeling, effective math applications, and conducting useful market research. Without looking like a treatise in mathematics, Stone and Jacobs manage to present not only the value of concepts such as predictive modeling, but they also show how to do it, how to interpret the findings, and how to implement the findings for increased efficiency.
It is rare for such a comprehensive and practical book to appear. These authors leave no stone unturned in their discussion of Successful Direct Marketing Methods. To date, this is the most extensive resource in print for both business practitioners seeking to get more from a direct marketing program and academics seeking to upgrade their knowledge of direct marketing as it is done right in the twenty‐first century.