Live from DMA 2011: Going International and 3 More Direct Marketing Trends from Floor
The floor at a DMA convention has a greater collection of direct marketing experience and talent than just about anywhere else in the world. I didn't make it into as many sessions this year as I have in years past, but I spent a lot of time on the floor talking to exhibitors and marketers. Some trends certainly emerged form those conversations. I have no hard data to back these impressions up, but this is what I heard on the floor.
1. More Marketers Are Looking International
Again and again, I spoke with data firms who were getting more requests for international lists, and marketers who said they were looking to try their direct messaging in other nations or languages. Taking your one-nation marketing campaign worldwide is never as easy as buying some new data, but it's indicative of how outside the box marketers are willing to go to get new business. If the U.S. economy isn't biting, why not cast some lines in neighboring ponds?
2. Social Marketing Means Listening First
One of the most interesting things about comparing DMA 2011 to 2010 is the tone of the social media conversation. Last year, firms were ready and eager to roll into social marketing with a yippy-ki-ay and a yee-haw. This year lots of firms are still at that point, others are fed up with it, and some marketers are finding success and actually driving sales, finding prospects and/or nurturing leads. Those who've been successful have a strategy, and it's called listening.
Gary Vaynerchuk said in Monday's DMA 2011 keynote that Twitter was the greatest business listening tool in the world. But other speakers from companies with mature, successful social media marketing programs shared a similar message—social media success starts with listening, not sharing. In the session "Why You Need a Social Media Ringmaster," for example, Jeanette Gibson, Cisco's director of social media, Zena Weist, vice president of Edelman Digital and former social media director of H&R Block, and Michael Donnelly of Coca-Cola all said that the first thing you should do when you're starting a social media strategy is listen to what's being said about you on social media already. Once you've established that you understand the conversation, then you can jump in to join those conversations. Do not dictate new conversations.