6 Thorny Data Problems That Vex B-to-B Marketers, and How to Solve Them
February 3, 2015

B-to-B marketers are plagued by data problems. Business data is complex and fast-changing. Customers interact with us through a variety of channels, and often provide us with conflicting information. Our legacy databases are not as robust as we need. New tools and technologies emerge and must be evaluated. It's a never-ending battle. To shed some light on B-to-B data problems, Bernice Grossman and I compiled a working list of problems and solutions. Here are some of the thorniest.

Chicago With a Purpose: Wrapping up the DMA2013 Session Picks
October 7, 2013

With apology, I want to say that this blog is a little about me—what topics I'm interested in, and sharing a little bit of this knowledge (or lack of knowledge) with blog readers. In the process, I'm hopeful you're doing the same bit of pre-conference research—because it is this forethought and planning, beyond the engagements and booth visits on the Exhibit Hall floor, which make for a truly informative DMA13 conference

The Great Direct Marketing Mentor Shortage
September 3, 2013

I am fragile. In the early a.m. hours of a Sunday morning in August, my house in Philly was broken into. Peggy was out of town and I was alone, asleep in the bedroom on the third floor. The perp tried to jimmy a front window with a crowbar. He then gave up and wrecked the mail slot in the middle of the front door, reached through it and let himself in. The alarm system was not activated.

The Big Headache in Big Data
August 1, 2013

The year is halfway through and you've seen the headlines cropping up everywhere regarding Big Data. If you're like me, you read the articles and you see flaws in the facts or in the conclusions drawn from the facts, and you're tempted to dismiss them. At this point, you may be breathing easier because your company hasn't been the subject of an article.

NBC Blog Uses Instagram Fiasco to Slam Data Brokers
December 21, 2012

Two days ago, NBCNews.com's "Red Tape Chronicles" used Instagram's recent policy change as a chance to attack marketing data providers. Click through to the story to read more: "Instagram's abrupt change of terms this week created a predictable Internet chatter bomb, as Web users erupted in anger that the firm might violate their privacy and property rights. Sadly, there is no such outrage at companies which buy and sell our privacy as their business model—and much less interest in promising efforts to rein them in. What do they

Senator Opens Investigation of Data Brokers
October 12, 2012

The multibillion-dollar data brokerage industry, a growing force in online marketing, is drawing intensified government scrutiny. On Wednesday, Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, Democrat of West Virginia, opened an extensive investigation of nine leading information brokers. Because Americans now conduct much of their daily business online, the senator said he was concerned that “an unprecedented amount” of personal, medical and financial information about people could be collected, mined and sold, to the potential detriment of consumers. “An ever-increasing percentage of their lives will be available for download, and the digital footprint they will inevitably leave behind will become more specific

Can We Walk the Talk of Self-Regulation?
October 1, 2012

As we look toward the end of 2012, one of the more troubling issues facing marketers is the focus the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Congress and the media are putting on data brokers. While marketers are only one segment of the data broker debate and cannot resolve this issue alone, we must be proactive in defining our segment and restating and reaffirming our self-regulatory practices. If we are all following our stated "best practices," our arguments for continuing to self-regulate will carry more weight.

What Is a Data Broker? The FTC's Muddled Message
August 3, 2012

You might wonder why I'm asking this question or wonder why you should care, but you should care. If you are a marketer, you are either a data broker or you do business with one. And, data brokers have become an area of interest in Washington.

Congress to Examine Data Sellers
July 26, 2012

In a move that could lay bare the inner workings of the consumer data industry, eight members of Congress have opened a sweeping investigation into data brokers—companies that collect, collate, analyze and sell billions of details annually about consumers’ offline, online and mobile activities for marketing and other purposes. Representative Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Representative Joe L. Barton, Republican of Texas, co-chairmen of the Bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus, along with six other lawmakers, sent letters of inquiry on Tuesday afternoon to nine leading industry players. In the letters, the legislators requested extensive information about how the …

Maximize Local Search Presence in 5 Easy Steps
September 7, 2011

A lucky 13 percent of all searches relate to Web users trying to find information about local items, according to comScore. According to Google, 20 percent of searches on its engine are related to location. Yet only four million businesses have claimed their spots in Google Places—perhaps representative of the overall situation.