Nuts & Bolts: 5-Minute Interview
August 1, 2007

In the struggle to access the ever-illusive e-mail inbox, Princess Cruises has implemented a solution to simplify its communication with a key target audience: travel agents. The Seattle-based cruise company recently began using Alterian’s personalized online marketing application and RSS feed solution, Dynamic Messenger, to provide travel agents with up-to-the-moment travel guides. By logging on to the Princess Web site, agents can access real-time RSS feeds containing travel information and updates on sales and specials based on their personal profiles without opening an e-mail. Here, Stanley McClurkin-Birge, Princess’ director of direct marketing, talks about how RSS is improving its online tracking, increasing agents’ access to

The Latest in Rich Media and RIAs
July 31, 2007

Can’t tell an RIA from an MRI? E-commerce expert Ken Burke, founder/CEO of MarketLive, discusses and demonstrates the leading rich media formats and rich Internet applications marketers are employing to convert browsers into buyers.

The Five Types of Marketing Dashboards
July 18, 2007

Marketing dashboards have created a buzz in the direct marketing arena, but what exactly can they do and what are the benefits of using them? A marketing dashboard is a specially designed widget, configured to show vital company statistics, updated on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, depending on who the stats are for (executives, managers, statisticians, etc.). Dashboards can help marketers get a better grasp on one of their most important, and often overlooked, direct marketing tools: data. According to Devyani Sadh, CEO of Stamford, Conn.-based Data Square, a business-intelligence solutions provider, “businesses only use 7 percent of their data to make strategic

Nuts & Bolts: RSS
July 1, 2007

Your RSS buffet might be loaded with information your market will find useful, but before it can feast on your insights and deals, it has to know where to request the feeds. Rok Hrastnik, international Internet director at Studio Moderna, a direct marketing service provider, shared his insights on this challenge at the ACCM conference held this past May. He identified the four hot spots marketers must use to publicize their RSS offerings to increase their reach through this channel: 1. Below your e-mail newsletter subscription box. Snag inquirers directly where they need to sign up to receive your e-mail newsletter, allowing them to receive

Three Other Reasons to Consider the 4CB
May 16, 2007

The Intelligent Mail barcode made its official debut last September, when the U.S. Postal Service announced it would start accepting mail bearing this unique tracking code. Also called the 4-State Customer barcode, or 4CB for short, this tool is a data-rich code that allows mailers to track the movement of mail at the individual piece level. And as of 2009, it will be required for all automation-class mail. While the 4CB offers mailers unparalleled ability to track mail throughout the postal system, and thus provide the insight needed to optimize delivery, this device can be leveraged to assist mailers interested in improving their direct marketing

Agora Inc.’s Chris Hines on Developing Marketing Dashboards
January 31, 2007

To help their marketing departments keep up with the speed at which business moves today, companies are investing more time and capital in automation tools that put knowledge into the hands of front-line management. Thus the rise of marketing dashboards, which can be defined as analytics tools that gather key performance measures and make them available to users via their computer desktops. This week, Target Marketing talks to Chris Hines, vice president, marketing intelligence at Publications Services LLC (part of publishing firm Agora Inc.), about the benefits and pitfalls of creating such marketing information tools. Target Marketing: What are the benefits of a marketing dashboard? Chris

Nuts & Bolts: Tech Talk
December 1, 2006

One-stop Online Solution Enterprise marketing software provider smartFOCUS has introduced smartREACTION, a new solution for analyzing, managing and executing online campaigns. SmartREACTION combines the following functions into one solution: analysis of and access to customer information; planning and automation of campaign execution, including an integrated content management system; a platform for circulating multichannel communications across all online channels; and reporting and operational management charts. The End of Click Fraud? Metasearch engine ABCSearch announced the launch of ClickShield, a new click fraud monitoring software. Based on natural user behavior patterns and other proprietary methods, ClickShield optimizes all ABCSearch network traffic in real time, ensuring all

Nuts & Bolts: Tech Talk
August 1, 2006

A New Acquisition Tool Donnelley Marketing, an infoUSA company, and provider of proprietary business and consumer databases and sales leads, has launched SalesGenie Pro, a fully-supported, turnkey application for new customer acquisition for Fortune 1000 companies. Internet-based, SalesGenie Pro offers customer file maintenance and cleaning, as well as access to the Donnelley business file. Client files are securely stored, while offering instant file access to query, count, analyze and extract records for retention campaigns. For more information, visit Smooth E-mailing Abacus, the Lafayette, Colo.-based marketing solutions provider, has launched Abacus Email. The solution is designed to help marketers maximize the e-mail marketing channel by

Signs That You Need a Data Warehouse
July 26, 2006

How do you know when you need a data warehouse, a data mart or at least an extracted set of files for marketing analysis? If the thought of pulling together any or all of the following analytics projects in the course of one day makes you want to throw up your hands in exasperation, then you’re a prime candidate: Task No. 1: Run a report of how many unique 12-month buyers you have. Try this in a leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, and you will arrive at a number. But do you have a way to check if each record is a unique account

Three Steps to Customer Satisfaction
July 19, 2006

Customer satisfaction can be such a big task that it’s hard to get your corporate arms around it—especially if you don’t have a large service department. But you can make considerable progress by tackling the major customer gripes that occur. How do you identify them? Mitch Lieber, principal of Lieber & Associates, a call center management, metrics and technology consulting firm in Chicago, offers the following three-step process: Step 1: Do counts of how many customer service calls get passed up to the president or other high-level corporate officer. Step 2: Track the issues that generate these calls, and segment them into priority levels.