Consumer Reports

Direct Marketer of the Year: Pegg Nadler
October 1, 2009

Pegg Nadler loves the unknown. Where others see challenges, she sees opportunities. Where others fear change, she fears boredom. These are some of the qualities that have driven her 30-year direct marketing career, the bulk of which she's spent advancing database marketing operations at commercial and nonprofit organizations and giving back to the direct marketing community. And they're why she's Target Marketing magazine's Direct Marketer of the Year.

3 Key Questions to Ask About Your Green Practices
June 17, 2009

In an ideal direct marketing world, all actions and initiatives that are taken on behalf of the environment by an organization are not only genuine and effective, but also recognized by prospects and customers. Of course, in an ideal world, there wouldn't have been such environmental degradation wrought by modern society and business in the first place and, thus, such a dire need for these corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives today.

2 Keys to a Healthy Integrated Direct Marketing Strategy
May 27, 2009

Integration. It’s one of the biggest buzzwords out there these days and for good reason. Without an integrated direct marketing strategy, a successful future is unlikely. Today’s consumers live their lives, and do their shopping, in a wide array of channels, so marketers must target them in each appropriate channel—in a consistent and integrated way.

6 Ways to Master the Green Message
September 17, 2008

Green marketing messages are widespread, with environmental claims and certifications now almost commonplace among the many products and services that prospects receive. But are they effective? And if they aren't, why not?

Green Mission
June 1, 2008

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

Lillian Vernon, Sharper Image Crash. Why?
February 25, 2008

The king of high-end tchotchkes (Richard Thalheimer, former CEO and chairman of The Sharper Image) and queen of low-end tchotchkes (Lillian Vernon) have been dethroned. Lillian Vernon and Sharper Image—two iconic catalogs—were known to have been struggling in recent years. Their bankruptcies were expected. That they were announced on the same day is astonishing. How could this happen? Both Vernon and Thalheimer launched businesses without paying their dues. Ultimately, neither of them knew what the hell they were doing. Lillian Vernon’s Story In 1933, Lillian Katz’s family fled the Nazis. They left Leipzig, Germany, for Amsterdam, and four years later were lucky enough to

Five Choices to Make for Paper in Direct Mail
February 20, 2008

The production manager (or perhaps creative director) of a direct mail package usually chooses the paper. Historically, it’s never been an easy decision. It hinges on weighing (with postal rates, I mean that literally) quality against cost, including the selection of paper stock/weight, grade, coated or uncoated, and so on. Recently, that decision just got harder, with the now viable option of using more environment-friendly paper (groundwood/high-yield/nonvirgin-offset sheets, more post-consumer recycled content and environmentally certified) in all components of a mail piece. Unless you’ve already done so, here are five choices you may consider adopting. 1. Go High-End (but not Necessarily High-Cost) with the

Three Ways to Create a Pro-environment Package
August 8, 2007

Everything is turning green, not from envy but for the environment—and, make no mistake, for business. The environmental movement has gathered steam in recent years not just because of genuine concern for what’s growing or deteriorating on and around the earth—global warming, water and air pollution, peak oil—but also because savvy businesses have very recently created a “win-win” scenario, helping the environment and their businesses with new policies, manufacturing processes and materials, to name a few. The direct mail industry has similarly warmed to the big idea and has begun the big conversion. The Direct Marketing Association leads the way, encouraging its members to

Six Ways to Embrace Social Networks
January 24, 2007

As more forms of pull marketing come into play, companies are faced with learning a whole new way to interact with their target audiences. Online social networks, such as MySpace, YouTube and Friendster, can be daunting to those marketers more comfortable with Consumer Reports magazine than ConsumerReports.org. Heck, it’s daunting even to the tech savvy, simply because these new media vehicles represent uncharted territory with little in the way of testing history to guide your marketing efforts. Rachel Honig, COO of Digital Power and Light, an online marketing firm in New York City that designs digital promotions, offers a few insights on how to best

Production and Paper Special Report: Cycling Through Your Options
June 1, 2006

Consumers have become increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of the companies from whom they buy, and the direct mail delivered to their doorstep is a conspicuous reminder of paper consumption. Fortunately, finding a suitable paper that contains post-consumer waste is possible for just about every direct mail application. However, identifying a supplier that can provide product at the desired cost and composition requires knowing where to look. Not Your Grandfather’s Recycled Paper “Any [direct mail] product can be made with recycled fiber” without losing quality, according to Brian Cummins, the product and value chain manager for publications at paper manufacturer Stora Enso. Cummins says