What's the Big Idea?
One of the hardest practices for any manager is to stop the constant whirl of daily activity that constitutes your job long enough to concentrate on a long-range vision for your business.
I've got a deal to make with you: If you can spare less than 30 minutes, you can get a leg up on where the direct marketing industry is heading in the coming years. For this month's cover story—"Big Ideas," which starts on page 28—I talked to eight industry experts in unique positions to see the industry from the outside-in. From consumer research to technology, hiring patterns to privacy laws, each contributor helps define the seismic trends that will shape how direct marketers organize their operations, grow their customer base and generate revenue. Some of these revolutionary concepts have been in the spotlight for the past few years, but only now do they seem to be adding up to one overall picture of a new direct marketing era. Learn how your company can flourish by embracing this change for the better.
This issue also holds two more surprises, one for direct marketers dedicated to the B-to-B arena and the other for anyone with an interest in the issues and opportunities related to the list industry.
First, I'm happy to introduce Russell Kern, president of integrated direct marketing agency Kern Direct, as a new columnist for Target Marketing. Kern, who has worked with leading B-to-B firms such as Nextel, Avaya and Peoplesoft, will be penning the new bimonthly B-to-B Insights column which will discuss the best practices and innovative tactics for generating leads, keeping them primed and converting them into profitable sales. The first installment, starting on page 21, covers the B-to-B buying cycle and different offer ideas you can use to attract various participants in the buying decision continuum.