Think mainly single channel, ‘spray and pray' tactics to the entire database, where the hope of ROI was based on quantity of people approached, not quality, and as for trying to measure ROI – well….
The world has changed a lot since then and now with the emergence of digital technologies and the ways in which the consumer wants to be communicated with, it's all about developing strategies to ensure channels are going to work with, not against one another.
I love this challenge and, believe me, it is a challenge. With, wait for it… (please realise this list isn't exhaustive!); social media, PR, online (emails, website, blogs, digital advertising, videos), print (direct mail, advertising), mobile (including scanning technologies, optimisation, SMS) and exhibitions/events to consider, oh yes and budgets, target audiences, tailored messaging, brand guidelines, well perhaps you can start to see that it's not the easiest of jobs.
It's a competitive market and customer engagement is key, without looking at your channels and developing strategies that connect with the touch points that your customer is interested in and take them on a journey; you'll lose them to someone else. But with a multi-channel strategy, fragmented marketing activity will be a thing of the past. Customer journeys will be cohesive and consistent, monitoring and evaluating campaigns will be simpler and ROI will be proven, including measuring print.