Monthly Archives: October 2007

How Do We Define Direct Marketing?

This quarter’s post is from advertising leader Lester Wunderman, from his book Being Direct: Making Advertising Pay. (New York: Random House, Inc., 1996).

200902 Spring When Do We Challenge Status   Since my early career, I’ve learned to  believe in the value of test marketing and evaluation of the marketplace.  My teams follow a direct marketing plan in accordance with the ideas described in the writings, published speeches, and book of Lester Wunderman, managing partner at Young & Rubicam and founder of, as well as the first person to coin the phrase “Direct Marketing,” in a 1967 speech to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

With this introduction, I share with you the following from Lester Wunderman:

“To this day, I believe that the most important tool available to the direct marketer is the ability to test, a form of pragmatic research that doesn’t just tell you how a customer might react to an ad but how consumers really do react.  Direct marketing makes advertising totally measurable and accountable….”

Finally, I share with you Lester Wunderman’s best wisdom:

“If there is a lesson to be learned, I believe it is to not do anything half-heartedly. If you’re going to do it at all, give it all you have to give.”

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Filed under Business History, Leadership Characteristics