The Kern Organization

Bto B Insights Book Smarts
August 1, 2005

By Russell Kern In interview after interview, I ask copywriters and account managers who are applying for a position with my firm, "What have you read recently?" Too often the answer I get is a blank stare. OK, maybe they didn't understand my question. So, I get more specific: "What have you ever read to give you the background necessary to be a direct marketing professional?" Again, in most of these situations their answers barely touch the wealth of marketing classics and up-to-the-moment marketing and business books available. This leaves me wondering: How can they become master craftsmen, if they never study the

Time to Rethink BANT
June 1, 2005

By Russell Kern It's called lead generation, not purchase order generation, for a reason. On returning from this year's DMA Direct Marketing to Business conference in Orlando, Fla., I was surprised to have heard that B-to-B direct marketers still struggle with the results from their lead generation campaigns. At the trade show, I heard many conversations about how sales managers are complaining to direct marketing managers that their campaigns are not generating enough qualified leads. Worse, sales seems to be increasing its criticism of marketing for not knowing how to do its job. What sales seems to be asking direct marketers is: Why can't

Fix It, or You're Fired!
April 1, 2005

By Russell Kern Advertising agencies and marketing managers typically are held accountable for creating brand awareness and improving how the world perceives a company, its products and services. Most advertisers know brand building takes time, and that they may wait years to see a return on their investment. Direct marketers do not live in this world of wait-and-see. A week or two after a mail campaign drops, it's either deemed successful or unsuccessful. If the campaign isn't working, it should be fixed immediately. To accomplish this, however, B-to-B marketers must know how to quickly solve four common and costly problems: Problem No. 1: Inability