How Yesterday’s Direct Marketing Evolved into Today’s Customer Relationship Marketing

Lester Wunderman was the “father of direct marketing,” the forerunner to CRM as we know it today. He founded Wunderman in 1958 on a brilliantly simple premise: Acquire with the intention to retain, and retain with the intention to grow.

Before Wunderman, who died earlier this year at the age of 98, consumer companies spent a great deal of time on the first part and not nearly enough on the second. Customer acquisition has long been the be-all, end-all for marketers. Before Wunderman and his colleagues, once a customer was “won,” usually at a cost via discounting and/or paid media, the whole hunt went back to the beginning. After Wunderman, marketers began to think in terms of “life cycle” marketing. Phase One: Acquire. Phase Two: Grow.

Read the full DestinationCRM article here. 

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