B-to-B Insight: More Summer Reading

It was with great joy that my wife, Lynne, and I recently moved our eldest daughter, Michelle, to New York City to start her new career in advertising. As soon as she graduated from the University of Southern California with a double degree in Communications and Spanish in May, she hit the streets of Manhattan and landed her first “real” job in Hispanic marketing. She has always had a great deal of passion for the Spanish language and the cultures that accompany it. Michelle is eager to learn her new craft in advertising and direct marketing. However, as I look at this young upstart—through the


Note: Denny Hatch personally replies to all readers who write in. Readers respond to “How Not to Run a Meeting—or a Business: Lessons from the 109th Congress,” published July 27, 2006. Loved your newsletter dealing with meetings. I run lots of meetings and attend others and what you are saying is so very true. Our congress is, indeed, an exercise in how not to run a meeting. —Jerry Heisler Excellent piece, thank you so much for such an articulate review of the sad state of our Congress. I hope the majority of these Congress people get voted out of office, regardless of their party affiliations. I’ve read several

Creative Corner: Words of Wisdom

This May, I flew to New York to attend a memorial for my old friend and international direct marketing expert Al Goodloe, who died in February. Al, a little guy with a gravelly voice, was one of a kind. He was one of the nicest men I ever met, but he could be a mule. For instance, he was from Virginia and his dad expected him to attend the University of Virginia, like everyone else in the family. But Al set his sights on Harvard, and that’s where he went. After he graduated, Al wanted to be in New York, and that’s where he wound

Data Mining in the 21st Century

With all the advancements in data mining, why do we keep hearing that direct marketers are experiencing declining results? Direct marketing service companies—specifically, the list industry—are at a turning point: Deliver the performance boosts that clients are demanding by leveraging both the data and data mining tools, beginning with the fundamentals, or someone else will. A Different Mindset While many direct marketers who deploy historical response list marketing tactics are experiencing diminishing performance, those firms leveraging advanced data and data mining tools are meeting with continuous improvement in results. How can marketers get out of the former group and into the latter? First, they and their suppliers

Database: Focus on the Future

Today’s data management processes often fail to meet the needs of evolving multitouch, multichannel marketing campaigns. At this summer’s DM Days New York Conference & Expo, Scott Cone, vice president, client group leader for database marketing agency Merkle Inc., discussed the changes and best practices that will optimize the data management process going forward. Currently, effective multitouch data management and performance measurement doesn’t exist, asserts Cone. In fact, he says, decision criteria such as demographics, model scores and purchase history at the time of the marketing effort rarely are captured. Cone suggests a data management process best suited to meet tomorrow’s challenges creates an individual

E-commerce Link: Rise Above the Fray

Companies today are faced with the daunting task of standing out in crowded customer e-mail inboxes increasingly stuffed with spam, commercial opt-in, business and personal messages. The sad reality is that more than half of the 2.4 billion e-mail messages online marketers send out go unread. To win the coveted click, one thing is certain: Online marketers must send e-mail marketing messages that are more relevant and timely. Only then will they increase conversions. While marketers wring their hands over how to solve the problem, many are missing out on an obvious e-mail strategy; one that is fairly simple to implement and far more likely

Editor’s Notebook: It’s MY Mobile

Ah, Philadelphia in July! The heat index has crossed over the 100 degree mark, humidity is hovering around 80 percent, and I’m just too sluggish to be overly serious in my musings about the industry right now. Instead, please join me while I ponder the bright and shiny area of mobile content. You see, I’ve finally grown fed up with my outdated mobile phone—not to mention my carrier’s continual late delivery of voice mails and text messages. And given that my love for texting has reached critical mass, I’m excited about the many bells and whistles that allow mobile users to access oh-so-critical information

Famous Last Words: Is Grossman’s Math Still Alive?

For years, the coin of the realm for magazine circulation efforts was the double postcard. The advantages of the double postcard over a full-dress package: • It mailed at a special low First Class rate, because if the bottom half was used, postage would be collected for mail going both directions. • It’s quick and cheap to produce and stockpile. • It’s easy to personalize and takes color well. • Upfront response usually beats full-dress packages. The disadvantages: • Bill-me is the only payment option so pay-up is lousy. • Can only be used for a well-known or self-descriptive product (e.g., TIME, Philadelphia magazine) going to an obvious universe. This past June, I

Fast Fact: Tracking SEM ROI

Search engine marketing (SEM) is a booming industry. Paid placement, contextual ads, paid inclusion, search engine optimization and the rest of the SEM suite combined for an estimated $5.75 billion spend in 2005—with paid placement accounting for the largest slice of the pie at about $4.77 billion—according to a recent study of SEM marketers and agencies by the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO). That number is only expected to climb as the rise of local and niche search, increased broadband use and escalating cost-per-click rates drive the channel’s growth. SEMPO estimates the industry will ascend to more than $7 billion this year and

Investing in the Future

For years, there has been debate in the nonprofit sector about whether it’s possible to “sell brother-hood like soap,” to quote marketing professor Michael Rothschild, who wrote about the challenges of charitable and social marketing in the late 1970s. In 2006, the question is as timely as ever. Buzz continues to increase in the nonprofit world about traditionally corporate concepts—things like lifetime value and long-term return on investment. But, for many, doubts remain. Does a business mindset make sense for charities? And what can it contribute to the cause? Representatives at Atlanta-based CARE, a leading humanitarian organization dedicated to fighting global poverty, say adopting a

List Buying Guide: Be a Good Data Steward

A number of high-profile data security breaches in recent years have been a strong reminder that responsible handling of data goes beyond compliance with existing laws. Data stewardship, says Ben Isaacson, privacy and compliance leader at information solutions firm Experian, headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., is more than just what you put on paper in your contracts and privacy policy. “It’s really how a company sets up a process by which it can manage data—and most of the time, what we’re talking about is personally identifiable information.” Data security and privacy issues can be broken into three main areas: data procurement, data usage and

List Buying Guide: How Does Your Garden Grow?

If you handle any part of your e-mail program in-house, then an audit of your e-mail programs can reveal both the good and the bad—allowing you to take action to eliminate the weed-like practices spoiling your overall garden. Curious as to how such an audit could help a marketer identify potential weak spots in its e-mail address collection, maintenance and usage practices, Target Marketing put its own file to the test. We worked with Eclipse Direct Marketing, a full-service direct marketing firm in New York, that offers I.D.E.A., or Independent Deliverability E-mail Audit. I.D.E.A. is an e-mail auditing tool developed by Pivotal Veracity, an e-mail

List Buying Guide: List Spending Spurs List Hygiene

List spending is way up from last year, according to survey results released in mid-July by Teramedia Corp., a multichannel list management and data services firm in Orlando, Fla. Of the 6,435 survey respondents to its List Trends Poll 2006—with most at the account manager or marketing manager level—58 percent reported they are spending more on lists for marketing, despite the fact that their ROI is not keeping pace; a little more than one-third indicated no change in list ROI between now and 2005, and about another third succeeded in producing a higher ROI. While the investment in response, compiled and managed/subscriber files increased in

Market Focus: Dentists

Check Up on These Medical Professionals For some, a trip to the dentist is fraught with anxiety. In contrast, however, marketers of many stripes should look forward to reaching out to these medical professionals. Entrepreneurial and business savvy, dentists are open not only to the more obvious profession-related offers, but also to a slew of services and products that help them run their hectic business practices and personal lives. Meet the Doctors According to Fred Peterson, media relations for Chicago-based American Dental Association (ADA), there are more than 173,000 professionally active dentists in the United States. Nearly 80 percent of these doctors are general practitioners, while another

Nuts & Bolts: Tech Talk

A New Acquisition Tool Donnelley Marketing, an infoUSA company, and provider of proprietary business and consumer databases and sales leads, has launched SalesGenie Pro, a fully-supported, turnkey application for new customer acquisition for Fortune 1000 companies. Internet-based, SalesGenie Pro offers customer file maintenance and cleaning, as well as access to the Donnelley business file. Client files are securely stored, while offering instant file access to query, count, analyze and extract records for retention campaigns. For more information, visit www.infousa.com. Smooth E-mailing Abacus, the Lafayette, Colo.-based marketing solutions provider, has launched Abacus Email. The solution is designed to help marketers maximize the e-mail marketing channel by

Postal Matters: 5-minute Interview with MTAC’s Donald Harle

The rate case proposed in May by the U.S. Postal Service is full of complexities, extending beyond a rate increase to include changes to classifications, definitions, discounts and preparation rules. Between all these adjustments and the ever-looming possibility of postal reform, mailers are faced with only a vague idea of what their postal costs will look like come spring 2007, when the new rate case is slated to go into effect. To help mailers get a handle on what all of these mail modifications may mean for them, Target Marketing reached out to postal expert Donald Harle, who currently serves as industry vice chair of

Reach the Inbox

When it comes to e-mail deliverability, there is only one way to ensure success: Build a good reputation. The perception ISPs and other receivers have of the mail sent by your mail servers determines whether or not your e-mail stays clear of spam filters and gets delivered to the inbox. Unfortunately, most marketers don’t have a clue where to start when it comes to determining delivery issues, much less figuring out what ISPs think of them. There are two sides to e-mail delivery: the pre-campaign best practices that build your reputation, and the ongoing management necessary to track delivery rates and potential problems. The following

The Decline and Fall of Competent Direct Mail Why credit card mailings are bombing

I’ve been reading obituaries since the age of 12, fascinated to see how entire lives have been summed up in a few paragraphs. Last week a The New York Times headline about the passing of George Wetherill, 80, described him as an “Expert on Dating of Rocks.” Did dating of rocks mean determining their age? Or did he study people who liked to take rocks out to dinner and a movie? Either way, I wasn’t interested enough in his life and career to read on. Nor am I real interested in people who spend their lives in the credit card business—the delivery of financial nicotine to