For years, beyond traditional marketing, the only option to get to the target directly, one-on-one, was, Direct Marketing, yes, annoying but effective, and would remain somewhat effective till the old media types like Television eventually become obsolate.
But for the majority of the modern world, Direct Marketing is passe, its so 90s, with the rapid expansion of digital technology and mobility devices getting easily accessible, Responsive Marketing is the future. Engage your customers directly, individually in oppostion to building a linear campaign disgned at reaching the mass.
But now, responsive, adaptive or whatever name you give it, does not work through mail order or infomercials, they engage the audience with call for actions that transform their experience with your brand from physical to digital on a one-on-one reaction, and bridges the gap between reality and virtual effectively.
Till date, much of the marketing emphasis remains dedicated to reaching people in mass, following a tried and true formula for advertising designed to measure customer insight and attempt engagement through compelling messages, which could be distributed across channels, both digital and print.
These linear campaigns designed as "one solution suits all" idea, do not work anymore. For example, marketers now need not just to understand the difference between digital and traditional ( viz. print and television ) but they need to recognize different formats within digital. They even need to recognize the difference between devices and understand that each device itself is a different media now.
For example an HD promo on Youtube would work well with a desktop user with more graphic power and a broadband connection, but might fail on a user with a mobile device and a 3G connection. BUT this knowledge adds to the problem than solving it, since not all brand owners would agree to the increase in marketing budget and skill requirements that stem from these added media types that at once overlap and remain distinct.
There is no absolute solution, the more creative a marketer can be, the better utilization of resources and funds would be possible, since there is no more a single solution, and that costs more than traditional campaigns, if not at once but over the time, engagement with audience through social media across different devices costs money along with proper planning and execution.
However for businesses that have a local focus, have a few better options as always than businesses that intend to capture a global audience, local businesses can go for a hybrid strategy, that is, mix digital marketing with physical tools of brand visibility, print media merges into digital using Augmented Reality Apps and QR Code Scanners, available across all mobile platform these days, and uses the most used module of a modern smartphone, the camera.
These apps transform a viewer of the print ad, from physical to virtual audience by taking the user to the products online presence, directly on tha phone.