Marketers Drive Dashboards; They're Not Driven By Them
August 25, 2010

Marketing dashboards provide insights, not orders. But used exactly the wrong way, dashboards can drive micromanaging to a new plane of existence. Marketers should focus on using the data-capturing mechanisms to facilitate improved communications and clearer views of the big picture.

3 Ways to Segment Mobile Customers
November 11, 2009

With 90 percent of Americans using cell phones, many marketers may not be surprised that studies are emerging showing that mobile customers convert at significantly higher rates than online consumers—even when viewing the same offer. The device that's often with them all day is a perfect one-on-one marketing opportunity. Now all marketers have to do is figure out exactly who's holding the phone.

Brand Matters: Where Are Your Brand Manners?
December 1, 2007

Your mother was right. Manners really are important. Please and thank you, common courtesy and civility—where have they gone? I bring this up as a consumer being treated less than what I would call “pleasantly” by many companies. I think you can relate. Like you, I am over-e-mailed, underappreciated, hassled and bombarded by irrelevant messages. My time is not of marketers’ concern. My past, present and future purchasing power are ignored. My money is taken without gratitude, often by people talking on the phone to a noncustomer. My stress level is increased by too many choices because companies are too lazy to edit their product

The Worst PR Debacle in History
August 28, 2007

When the media get hold of a juicy story—one that inspires outrage or prurience—they will continue to run with it until something more outrageous or prurient overshadows it. Such was the case with Watergate and the Monica Lewinsky scandal that plagued the Clinton presidency. These pale to the gross mishandling of national public relations by the government and the private sector of China. In 50 years of being a news junkie, I cannot recall a tectonic success—the roaring Chinese economy—being so badly trashed by greed, incompetence and appalling PR. With a 1.3 billion population, China is governed by an iron-fisted Communist regime. But with millions of individual

Still In Style
May 1, 2007

I’m fairly certain the study of direct mail would still be my favorite pastime even if I hadn’t grown up as the daughter of the postmaster of Inman, Kan., (pop. 1,194). It’s true that, from an early age, I was as eager to see the newly issued stamp designs as some of my friends were to see the newest fashions. But, as fond as I am of direct mail, I also recognize that, thanks to changing technology, new media opportunities, and exciting possibilities offered by the Internet, direct marketers now face a dilemma: What should we do with direct mail? If you’re already using it,

Desperate Times for General Ad Agencies
November 9, 2006

The idea that advertising agencies are recommending campaigns based on humor—and marketers are going along with it—is an act of desperation. At the end of this issue is an illustration from an upcoming Campbell’s Soup commercial that urges consumers to “Make some holiday magic.” It depicts the branch of an evergreen tree reaching through an open window and grabbing some green bean casserole. The viewer will think, “My isn’t that cute and clever,” and remember the gag, but not the Campbell Soup. Be well-mannered, but don’t be a clown. People don’t buy from bad-mannered salesmen, and research has shown that they don’t buy from

The New Robber Barons
November 2, 2006

In the late 1970s, I was hired to write a membership mailing for Comp-U-Card, a Stamford, Conn. organization that claimed to have built “a data base of price and product information on approximately 60,000 brand name products.” Consumers could tap into this wealth of information and presumably save many times the $25 membership fee. Goods were shipped directly from wholesalers to the customer. I met briefly with the president, Walter A. Forbes, who was good-looking, articulate and very intense. At one point in our meeting, he took a phone call and asked me to step outside, which I did. When I returned, Forbes told me that

Stickin’ Around Web Sites
November 1, 2006

“Stickiness” was one of the original criteria by which Web sites were judged. Marketers wanted visitors to come to their site and stay a while—look around, sign up, make a purchase, tell their friends and, of course, come back. Over the 10-year history of the consumer-oriented Internet, much has changed about the nature of our Web experiences—they’re faster and safer, more educational, more focused and more productive—but stickiness persists as a goal. What has changed is how marketers achieve it and how we’ve grown more sophisticated in our assessment of it. Some Mistakes of the Past In the last five years, stickiness has meant flashiness—literally and figuratively.

With No Plan for Succession, You're Toast
November 22, 2005

Just look at ABC and CBS Nov. 22, 2005: Vol. 1, Issue No. 50 IN THE NEWS NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams Pulls Ahead; Widens the Gap Over ABC TO 1.4 Million Viewers NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams had a big ratings win last week, topping ABC's "World News Tonight" by a 16% or +1.390 million viewers - representing the program's best advantage over ABC since the week of the Brokaw/Williams anchor transition (Nov. 29, 2004). --Matt Drudge, The Drudge Report, Nov. 17, 2005 I don't watch one evening news program on television. Rather, I use the remote

Drive Profitable Behavior
September 1, 2004

Strategies for building a successful customer loyalty program Roughly 80 percent of Americans participating in a loyalty program say their membership in the program impacts their purchasing decisions, according to a recent Maritz poll of consumers. Seventy-four percent of Americans say that without a loyalty program, they would buy less from any given company. Indeed, many savvy direct marketers realize the value of customer loyalty, and have been offering loyalty programs for years to drive repeat purchases and establish stronger customer relationships. But, with the growing number of loyalty programs on the market, consumers have more choices than ever before. The competition is fierce,