Open Enrollment | Subscribe to Target Marketing HERE
Connect
Follow us on
Advertisement
 
Chet Dalzell

Marketing Sustainably

By Chet Dalzell

About Chet

Marketing Sustainably: What's Going on Beyond and Beneath the Green? A blog posting questions, opportunities, concerns and observations on sustainability in marketing.

Chet Dalzell has 25 years of public relations management and expertise in service to leading brands in consumer, donor, patient and business-to-business markets, and in the field of direct marketing. He serves on the Direct Marketing Association Committee on the Environment and Social Responsibility, where he is currently chairman of the Committee's Marketing & Communications Public Outreach Strategy Working Group (2005-present).

Chet co-developed the first professional certificate program in environmentally responsible marketing within the United States. He also served on the United States Postal Service Greening the Mail Task Force (2007-2010), and led its Life Cycle of Mail Subcommittee.

Email Chet below, or reach him at Twitter or LinkedIn.

 

Making Social Sell

Jeff Molander
Drive Leads on Facebook by Getting Customers to Gab
Apr 17, 2015

What can a regional supplier of HVAC products and services teach you about Facebook? Plenty. I've already explained how Steelmaster...



Psychology-Based Marketing

Jeanette McMurtry
The Purpose-Driven Brand
Apr 16, 2015

Since the beginning of time to this very moment, we humans have been driven by purpose. Consciously and unconsciously, we...



Reinventing Direct

Gary Hennerberg
Stimulating Awe, Goosebumps and Chills in Copy
Apr 15, 2015

When your copy stimulates awe, your customer should experience a physiological reaction like goosebumps or chills. A physical reaction comes...



Direct Mail for the Modern Marketer

Summer Gould
Direct Mail: Data Makes All the Difference
Apr 14, 2015

The draw of the latest marketing trends pulls at us all. Many companies have integrated their direct mail with technologies...



The Power Punch

Carolyn Goodman
Best Practices Exist for a Reason, Part 1: Email
Apr 7, 2015

I'm continually stunned when a client, art director, copywriter or any other strategist in the marketing industry insists on using...



Big Data, Small Data, Clean Data, Messy Data

Stephen  H. Yu
Marketing and IT; Cats and Dogs
Apr 9, 2015

Cats and dogs do not get along unless they grew up together since birth. That is because cats and dogs...



Search Made Simple

Phil Frost
5 Types of Google AdWords Conversion Tracking
Apr 8, 2015

When I first started using Google AdWords in 2006, conversion tracking was in its infancy. There was only one type...



IMM-Possible ROI

Stephanie Miller
An Inside-Out View of the Customer Funnel
Apr 7, 2015

No one in business ever profited by change for change's sake. However, no one ever stayed in business long without...



Creative Caffeine

Dani Cantor
My Inbox Knows the Season Better Than the Weather
Apr 6, 2015

The famous poet Percy Shelley once wrote, "O wind, if winter comes, can spring and a million emails using flower...



Keeping Search Profitable

Amanda G. Watlington, Ph.D.
Google Finally Shuts the Door on Doorway Pages
Mar 31, 2015

Google seldom gives search engine marketers advance warning of algorithmic changes; however, in a rare move recently Google announced plans...



Here's What Counts

Chuck McLeester
Measuring Customer Engagement: It’s Not Easy and It Takes Time
Mar 26, 2015

Here's what's easy: Measuring the effect of individual engagements like Web page views, email opens, paid and organic search clicks,...



The Data Athlete

Mike Ferranti
Channel Collaboration or Web Cannibalization?
Mar 24, 2015

Multichannel marketers experience the frequent concern that online is competing with, or "cannibalizing," sales in other channels. It seems like...



Ruthless B-to-B Marketing

Ruth P.  Stevens
6 More Thorny Data Problems That Vex B-to-B Marketers, and How to Solve Them
Mar 20, 2015

B-to-B data continues to challenge marketers, who need to identify and communicate with customers and prospects, but who run into...



Brand Matters

Andrea Syverson
I Dare You: Create a Brand Challenge!
Mar 17, 2015

Challenging something we do quite naturally and easily is indeed the perfect challenge. We all get into ruts—some even good...



The Integrated Email

Cyndie Shaffstall
Google Announces Significant Changes
Mar 9, 2015

As a marketer who uses email, you know as well as I do, your campaigns do not stand alone. Without...



Mobile-First Marketing

Greg Hoy
5 Mobile Marketing Trends You Can't Ignore in 2015
Jan 14, 2015

I don't have to tell you that we are living in a mobile-first world that continues to drive brands to...



Muscle Marketing

Wendy Montes de Oca
Converting Your Social Media Triple-Fs: Friends, Followers and Fans
Dec 16, 2014

I've heard many gurus, marketers and publishers brag about their social media followers. They'll say things like, "Isn't it great...



Marketing Nuggets

Michael Lowenstein
Marketing Success Is (Almost) All About the Data: Optimizing Customer Loyalty Behavior Initiatives
Oct 7, 2014

Much of what I've learned over the years about sales, marketing and customer service has to do with the critical...



Triple Venti Dolce Data...

Vince Pickett
Clue Me In, Please
Aug 21, 2013

So here we are, halfway through 2013. You, along with everyone, are still trying to find that magic formula to...



Who's Your Data?

Rio Longacre
Instagram: Does It Matter That It Will Make Money on Your Pics?
Dec 19, 2012

Instagram announced the company will soon begin using your content to sell targeted advertising products to the highest bidder. Does...



SEO & Content Marketing Revue

Heather Lloyd-Martin
5 Tips for Top Positioning (And Converting) Page Titles
Aug 11, 2010

Wondering about a SEO content strategy that offers the biggest impact in the shortest time? Try tweaking your page titles....



Yblog

Yory Wurmser
Privacy in the Age of Big Data
Jul 10, 2013

Consumers reveal more than ever before consciously through social media and, just as importantly, unconsciously through their behaviors. This data...



The Whole Magilla

Ken Magill
What Marketers Can Learn From Maine's Political Email Idiocy
Feb 24, 2012

It finally happened. Politicians' idiotic email practices had a measurable negative effect. "Maine Republican Party chairman Charlie Webster has admitted...



Online Video Marketing Deep Dive

Eve Grey
Are Your Videos Champions of Your Brand?
Feb 3, 2014

If you advertise in an ordinary way, it's safe to expect ordinary results. However, when you take the extreme and...



Think Mobility

Greg Hickman
‘I Can't Because, I Need ... ’
Oct 7, 2013

Does this sound like you? Have you ever set up a goal, but then realized (either quickly or too late)...



Denny Hatch's Blog

Denny Hatch
The Internet Can Make You a Chump—Forever!
Sep 25, 2010

Trouble is, the Internet is rife with misinformation and if you get caught advertently or inadvertently propagating this nonsense in...



Direct Mail Still Haunted by the J-Word

6
 
Get the Flash Player to see this rotator.
 

Summertime and the living is easy.

So I stopped by the local spirits shop for a bottle of pink Sancerre and I was greeted with a window display for Double Cross Vodka that included a tongue-in-cheek campaign called "Project Double Cross." (See the image in the media player at right.)

Of course, the campaign's creator had to get his digs on direct mail (somehow I assume "hardcore adult magazines" fascination is a male trait, though I could be wrong here) ...

Well, I'm not a vodka drinker, but I'm happy to give a Slovakian import a little extra publicity here to make a point: Consumer activism against "junk mail" is a little self-defeating, even if this new brand is seeking to have a little fun. We all know direct mail provides consumers with choices, and is often used as a brand's secret weapon for targeted marketing. Heck, the entire porn industry, ironically, was built on mail order. Even in 2012, you can be sure some folks in our advertising business still love to ridicule the medium.

The same day I was reading Advertising Age, the recognized voice of agencies and Madison Avenue, and I came across this coverage of a recent Negotiated Service Agreement (NSA) between Valassis Communications and the United States Postal Service, which gives Valassis preferred postal pricing in return for volume increase guarantees: "Postal Ruling Makes Junk Mail Cheaper."

The newspaper business was taking its shot at criticizing the agreement, and the reporter—who accurately described Valassis as a direct mailer of coupons and circulars—matter-of-factly covered the story. (It's very quaint in this digital age to see newspapers still set on duking it out with direct mail.)

Still it seems to me funny that the headline editor of a leading trade magazine for integrated marketing falls for the "junk mail" moniker so readily to describe direct mail. Plainly, in this case, direct mail's power (and value) in circular advertising is its local targeting ability—precisely why newspaper publishers feel so threatened by the Valassis NSA. That doesn't sound like junk to me, Advertising Age.

You'd think that after the rise of customer relationship management in the 1990s (and how CRM and direct-response agencies emerged as cash cows for their holding companies), and after today's recognition of direct marketing's now-very-much-in-vogue accountability and measurability, that both branding evangelists and well-informed journalists would move beyond the tired j-word terminology.

When I worked at the Direct Marketing Association years ago, we were ever-vigilant to monitor brands and newspapers and local governments and other influencers that spewed their attacks on "junk mail" in various rants and ravings, even if the reference was more casual than caustic. The point was then, and it's still true today, that "junk" is not a label that can be assigned by anyone but the recipient—and no channel is immune from having its content being labeled as junk.

In my opinion, "digital junk" and "screen junk" is everywhere, for example, and there's much less of it in my mailbox. But I understand that it all pays the way for free Internet, television, email, etc. And as a consumer, I welcome nearly the whole of it. The key for all brands is to use data to create less junk and more relevance—hardly worth a consumer "double cross."

Now back to my glass of Sancerre.

6

COMMENTS

Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments:
Gerry - Posted on September 05, 2012
If newspapers call direct mail junk, what would they call the 35 FSI's they put in their papers every Sunday?
Click here to view archived comments...
Archived Comments:
Gerry - Posted on September 05, 2012
If newspapers call direct mail junk, what would they call the 35 FSI's they put in their papers every Sunday?