Video: What Does 'Traditional' Direct Marketing Mean to You?
August 27, 2013

How do you define what's "traditional" in direct marketing? How is that different from what tradition meant 10 years ago? Michael Lowenstein , PhD, CMC, answers those questions in this, the fifth video interview Target Marketing Senior Editor Heather Fletcher has with Lowenstein about the evolution of direct marketing during the past 10 years.

10 Tech Terms Everyone Needs to Know for 2014
August 20, 2013

Information technology is getting more pervasive and complicated every day. Although most of us experience IT in terms of personal computing devices (smartphones, tablets or laptops), office productivity tools (word processors or spreadsheets) or infrastructure functionality (routers and servers), IT is steadily becoming more sophisticated and critical to everything we do. ... The terms below suggest some of the key areas of technology development in the near future. ... To make intelligent decisions about our lives, our safety, our computers and more, here are the 10 technical terms everyone should know for 2014

VDP, Changing the Design of Direct Mail
August 16, 2013

The evolution of variable data printing (VDP) has significantly changed the landscape for the designers of direct marketing pieces. No longer are they forced to craft pieces that will appeal to a broad range of potential clients and hope for the best. Instead, they can utilize data captured from emails, Web pages, surveys, phone calls and in-person interviews to create individualized direct marketing pieces to more accurately target the needs of their clients. The market: At its core, variable data printing is still a direct marketing strategy. As such, it relies on having data on your clients and prospects.

Inventory Planning in an Omnichannel Environment
August 14, 2013

Merchandise and inventory planning for catalog retailers used to be a thorough, highly detailed process from start to finish. ... E-commerce has changed all that. The shift to the website as "the store," along with the ability to adjust marketing decisions in real time, have fundamentally shifted planning priorities for catalog retailers. The new best practice approach to merchandise and inventory planning is to invest less time developing the initial plan and more time managing contingencies

Ikea’s New Augmented Reality App Superimposes Furniture Into Your Empty Room
August 12, 2013

The typical Ikea experience usually goes like this: You get to the showroom, everything looks so wonderful and amazing, you pretend to live in the overly-organized fake bedroom, realize you should make a list of things to buy and ... now you’re not quite sure how that’ll look in your apartment. So you go home with some Swedish meatballs in your belly and a new version of the year’s annual catalog. ... In addition to last year’s unveil of an augmented reality-capable catalog, Ikea now boasts a new app feature that can turn that little book

Marketing and Augmented Reality: The Real Deal?
August 12, 2013

What is augmented reality? Rather than the subject of a dorm bull session, that was a valid question at the Augmented Reality Event, ... Exhibitors gave attendees the chance to overlay an animal face on top of their own and make it open its mouth or roll its eyes, play a game of Pong in midair ... All these additions to reality involved some kind of camera—usually in a tablet or smartphone—and software that would recognize the object and trigger the special content. At the same time, the question was raised: What is augmented reality (AR)?

Can These Augmented-Reality Apps Move Beyond the Gimmicks?
August 12, 2013

Last week, a man jumped out of a bottle of Pepsi and performed a magic trick for me. No, I wasn't hallucinating in the New York City heat wave. I was using an augmented reality app on my iPhone that makes 3D images and videos appear, through the phone's camera, as though they're on top of physical objects or environments. Augmented reality isn't new in consumer apps. You might recall the buzz a few years ago around Yelp's Monocle feature, or maybe you've heard of apps like Spyglass ... But AR still hasn't really had its "moment."

Video: Getting the Message Out Now vs. 10 Years Ago
August 6, 2013

Welcome back! This is the second video interview with Michael Lowenstein, PhD, CMC, about how far direct marketing's come during the past 10 years. This time, Lowenstein and Target Marketing Senior Editor Heather Fletcher discuss how direct marketers have changed their methods of getting the message out to their audiences.

Retailers Are the New Publishers
August 1, 2013

Much has changed since Sears published its first catalog in 1888. One thing that hasn’t is retail’s love affair with content. Now more than ever—with the ascent of social media and mobile shopping—retailers have moved beyond peddling their wares through pamphlets and become full-fledged media players. They have the eyeballs and consumer data. Amazon, Walmart, Target, Sears and Best Buy all rank among the top 100 comScore websites. So naturally, retailers believe they can profit by boosting their brands' messaging any way they can, in how-to guides and fashion tips and so on. “The Internet requires every brand, business and

3 Important Ways Print Is Transforming Direct Mail
August 1, 2013

Since the dawn of the Web, people having been finding excuses to declare print dead. One of those has long been that it's not interactive or as flexible as digital communications. But what if your mailpiece could be just as interactive and flexible as any Web page?