Can You Predict the Future?
October 1, 2003

When to Use Regression and Neural Networks in Models By Sam Koslowsky The other day I made an unusual purchase on a credit card I seldom use. I found myself somewhat uncomfortable as I was told, "I'm sorry, but your charge has been rejected by your bank." The store associate was kind enough to connect me to the financial service organization responsible for maintaining my credit card. I knew the person to whom I spoke wasn't the same person who picked my transaction out of the millions that are being evaluated continually. It was, more than likely, a statistical model that proved to

The Quest for ROI A Case for Mandatory Customer 'Return' Manag
September 1, 2002

By Richard Hochhauser Customer relationship management (CRM) is relevant and sticking. What's more, it's big. All the same, the CRM star is not shining brightly. The industry has disappointing revenue, disappointing earnings and a disappearance of funding that was a research and development engine. So what's the prognosis for CRM? I believe we're undergoing a temporary blip. After all, the fundamentals are there, and we have a chance to learn from mistakes made by others. Following are what I deem the top 10 CRM myths, and the lessons we all can learn from them. Myth #1. CRM is about technology. Technology is not

Develop a Strategy to Handle B-to-B Leads
January 1, 2002

Develop a Plan for Generating and Handling Business Leads By Terry Arnold There are only two types of companies that need outbound telemarketing: the ones not generating enough leads, and those generating too many leads. In today's tough economy, rising lead generation demands are being placed on sales and marketing departments. Coupled with the more complex selling environment many business-to-business marketers face, a great number of companies are turning to telemarketing as the cost-effective answer to increase leads. Or maybe you have a different challenge. Perhaps your marketing materials, Web site and trade show exhibits are producing more leads than your sales force

CRM Special Report--The Five Tenets of a Good CRM Strategy (1,9
July 1, 2001

By Carol Eberhardt The last five years in business have been a wild ride. The market placed a high premium on cutting-edge ideas, as emphasis shifted away from the less glamorous fundamentals of business strategy and effective execution. In the process, many start-up companies with brilliant concepts learned a lesson—the hard way—about the importance of sound business strategies and delivering on promises. Meanwhile, companies with clear vision, core strategies and strong business fundamentals are surviving the mayhem and continuing to capitalize on marketplace opportunities. Clear-cut performance matters now more than ever. And delivering that performance depends on having the right strategy and

The Challenge of Working with New Postal Rates
March 1, 2001

By Charley Howard It hasn't been sufficiently long enough to determine the major impacts of new rates (and rules) on mailing behavior, however, some early signs are indicating changes taking place. Standard flat-size mail is being hit particularly hard with postage increases, with the exception of campaigns that are high-density and low-distribution. As a result, many mailers who regularly employ flats in their direct mail campaigns are being forced to make some tough decisions. There are a few options that combined can generally keep an organization within its marketing budget. Convert Flats to Letters If You Can What makes a mailpiece

Viking Reaches the World By Web (1,864 words)
July 1, 2000

The lion's share of Internet users will live beyond U.S. borders come 2003. As reported by eMarketer's eGlobal Report, the number of active Internet users worldwide will increase 178 percent over the 1999 year-end total by 2003. It is projected there will be 361.9 million Internet users by then, nearly two-thirds of whom will live outside the United States. The growth of the Internet in the rest of the world spells unbridled opportunity for U.S. direct marketers with expertise in doing business globally. While it has taken down borders, the Internet hasn't changed the culture of your target audience. Here's a look at how

Delighting Your Customers 8 Tips for Making Your Company Stand
June 1, 1999

By Cury A. Byerley Timeliness, courtesy and accuracy distinguish a top-flight, customer-centric fulfillment operation. What you do on the back end can not only make your customers feel good about doing business with you, it can separate you from your competition. Here are some ideas on how to design your fulfillment operations or your fulfillment outsourcing relationships to build in a sense of "customer delight." 1. One size doesn't fit all. The new conventional wisdom concerning fulfillment is that it's a commodity. Challenge these opinions. Maybe the price is cheaper, but if vendor X complicates your fulfillment workflow, it's no bargain in the

State of the Industry-1999 (2,293 words)
January 1, 1999

Reported by Kelly J. Andrews There's no doubt the direct marketing industry is thriving. Survey after survey shows that both revenues and profits are up, and research companies predict that the future will remain rosy for years to come. However, that bright and happy big picture is made up of lots of small ones—thousands of direct marketers that each have a unique story, strategy and perspective. To find out what's happening at ground level, we conducted a State of the Industry survey that took a close look at direct marketers across the country. The direct marketers we surveyed are a cross-section of