Bob Stone got into direct marketing from a unique angle: He received a marketing degree from Northwestern University. Stone took a course in letter writing as part of his curriculum. He recounted how he got into direct marketing many years ago: "I was working for a surgical dressings manufacturer in the late 1930s. The country was preparing for war; gas rationing restricted travel of the sales force. My first job in direct marketing was to sell surgical dressings to the First Aid departments of industrial firms...by mail. The effort replaced 25 salesmen." Besides good fortune, Stone moved forward in his career in "a
Although many retail businesses have mastered the art of multichannel direct marketing, quite a few still are apprentices when it comes to cross-channel integration. This is one of the key findings of a report by the Direct Marketing Association titled "Channel Integration and Benchmarks in the Retail Industry." In the report, the DMA looks at the multichannel players in the retail industry, with the goal of helping retailers determine what aids the process of cross-channel integration -- and what hinders it.