Amy Syracuse

Amy Syracuse
The National Hockey League's Power Play

Sports marketers measure the engagement of their customers in terms of their "avidity." Avid fans are those who have an emotional connection to the game—people whose interest, enthusiasm and passion for the product defy the norm. From a marketing standpoint, these individuals are dream customers because they are eager consumers of all things associated with the sport. But, there is a catch.

Ask & Receive

All donors are not created equal. As in the for-profit world, the most financially valuable individuals are the ones who undertake long-term relationships with an organization-those who embrace a nonprofit's mission and make donations again and again. In a perfect world, fundraisers would be able to discern these individuals from the 70 percent of newly acquired donors whose first gifts are also their last, and invest in them accordingly.

Green Mission

Consumers Union is dedicated to working for a fair, just and safe marketplace for all consumers. To accomplish this, it operates the world’s largest nonprofit educational and consumer product testing center. It testifies before legislative and regulatory bodies and petitions government agencies. Through its Web site, Consumer Reports magazine and other publications, it helps the public make informed decisions about everything from health care to financial services and automobiles. And, if that’s not enough, Consumers Union’s marketing and production teams have successfully launched their own sustainability “revolution,” implementing strategies that contribute to a cleaner, more hospitable planet. Meta Brophy, director of publishing operations

In the Right Market

It’s not always what you say. Sometimes it’s to whom you say it that matters most—at least that’s the experience of the direct marketing team at Wisconsin–based AIG Travel Guard, a leading travel insurance plan provider and part of the American International Group Inc. conglomerate. Charged with growing the company’s consumer direct business, the team had long sought to home in on prospects that fit the image of its typical customers: the “NPR [National Public Radio] crowd,” as Carol Mueller, AIG Travel Guard’s director of marketing communications, describes them.

Heart & Soul

Faced with increasing opt-outs and declining response rates, it can be easy for direct marketing professionals to lose heart. But not the team at Los Angeles-based Live Nation, a promoter of live concerts, music venues and festivals, owner of the House of Blues brand and operator of the Web’s largest concert search engine. Listening to the company’s Vice President of Direct Marketing Bob Frady speak about marketing activities, you get the distinct impression that “heart” drives everything Live Nation does. “We’re not just spreadsheet jockeys; we love our product and are excited about what we sell,” says Frady. “We try to transfer our

Social Power

Established in 1901, the original purpose of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) was to enable the purchase of a Jewish state. Its early fundraising techniques ranged from the sale of JNF stamps and memorial trees planted in Israel to blue collection boxes placed in Jewish homes. The organization has been highly successful during its 106 years, playing a vital role in land-acquisition efforts, community development and the afforestation of Israel. But a good deal has changed over the course of its history and so, too, has JNF. In addition to traditional projects, such as tree planting, the organization today conducts extensive advocacy and education campaigns

Nuts & Bolts: Case Study

Challenge: Boost awareness of a cause largely overlooked in the developed world and reach new donors. Solution: Leverage social marketing forums. Results: More than 77,000 Web hits since the campaign began in January 2007. The average user of Second Life, a Web-based virtual world in which residents (represented by animated “avatars”) interact with their surroundings and each other, is 33 years old, American or European, technologically savvy with a relatively high income. Not exactly the type of person you would expect to relate to the challenge of finding clean water. But, thanks to the work of the nonprofit Global Water Foundation (GWF) and communications specialists, French|West|Vaughan (FWV),

Special Report: Driving Innovation

Direct mail is marketing’s workhorse for a reason. It’s resolute and reliable, even in the face of challenge. According to the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) “2006 Response Rate Trends Report,” the medium produces the second highest response rates (behind catalogs) for marketers seeking to solicit direct-order sales or motivate customers to make a charitable contribution. So how does one of the oldest marketing mediums stay effective and relevant despite intense competition? For this special report on production and paper, we asked some of the best and brightest minds in the direct mail business to share their opinions on the trends driving innovation in the

The Road Less Traveled

Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd. has taken the road less traveled before. It all started when the founders of this independent biopharmaceutical company left Roche to pursue therapeutic applications for several molecules they had discovered. Pharmaceutical giant Roche had opted not to continue the research because of limited market demand. A decade later, Actelion has built a thriving, multinational organization on discovering, developing and marketing drugs for unmet medical needs. Case in point: The company’s flagship drug, Tracleer, treats pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a complex disease historically overlooked by pharmaceutical firms and physicians alike. PAH has been under diagnosed due to a lack of awareness, explains Martin

Market Focus: Lawyers

No ordinary jury of your peers, attorneys can be tough customers—and even tougher prospects. They rank among the nation’s most highly educated professionals, have notoriously meticulous gatekeepers and, for those in positions that bill by the hour, time literally is money. But before dismissing this audience altogether, it’s important to weigh the evidence in its favor. For countless B-to-B companies, the legal community is a vital customer, and American Bar Association (ABA) List Sales Operations Manager Rick Vangundy calls attorneys “an untapped market” for consumer companies. The verdict? If you’re willing to invest time and effort into making your case, marketing to lawyers

A Sweet Ride

Thomas Publishing Co. is no stranger to innovation. During its 108-year history, this privately owned business that connects industrial buyers with suppliers consistently has made decisions (such as employing one of the first independent contractor sales forces) that proved well ahead of their time. The company’s move to create a fully Web-based industrial directory in 2004 was no exception. After celebrating the 100th anniversary of its traditional “green books”—the Thomas Register print directory of industrial sellers—executives ceased the print publication and went to the Internet. There was just one “small” challenge: It needed to bring its users along. Historically understated in its marketing, Thomas felt

Investing in the Future

For years, there has been debate in the nonprofit sector about whether it’s possible to “sell brother-hood like soap,” to quote marketing professor Michael Rothschild, who wrote about the challenges of charitable and social marketing in the late 1970s. In 2006, the question is as timely as ever. Buzz continues to increase in the nonprofit world about traditionally corporate concepts—things like lifetime value and long-term return on investment. But, for many, doubts remain. Does a business mindset make sense for charities? And what can it contribute to the cause? Representatives at Atlanta-based CARE, a leading humanitarian organization dedicated to fighting global poverty, say adopting a

Driving Performance

When shopping for a new car, the choices are infinite: Nissan or Honda? Accord or Civic? Atomic Blue or Galaxy Gray? And don’t forget about all those extended warranties and factory options. The number of unique combinations, not to mention the odds of marketing the ones that will resonate with individual consumers, are mind-boggling. But that didn’t stop AutoNation, America’s largest dealer of new and used vehicles, from leveraging analytics and digital print technologies to create a variable content direct marketing program that consistently delivers customized and relevant communications. As a result of its innovations, AutoNation has doubled response rates and generated a return on

Market Focus: Amateur Woodworkers

Nailing Down a Niche Thinking small can generate big results. At least, that’s what some marketers are finding when it comes to the woodworking hobbyist market in the United States. A survey conducted by National Family Opinion on behalf of Wood magazine found that approximately 5.5 million Americans actively participate in woodworking as a hobby, says Mark Hagen, the magazine’s publisher. That’s a relatively minute segment of the population but, in the case of woodworkers, it’s not the market size that counts—it’s the demographics. The typical amateur woodworker is male, 50 to 55 years old, educated, married and a homeowner, says Lawanna