January 2008 Issue


2007 Economic Census Underway

The U.S. Census Bureau recently sent 2007 Economic Census forms to more than 4 million American businesses. Taken every five years, the Economic Census is the nation’s most comprehensive measure of business and industry.

A Paradigm Shift

At Cisco, a dramatic shift is underway within the organization as it ventures into a new world of Web strategy, challenging its traditional tactics and integrating fresh principles to embrace an approach largely based on Web 2.0. What implications does this have for online lead generation? And what affect does this new perspective have on Cisco’s ability to drive conversion? Although the San Jose, Calif.-based supplier of networking hardware, software and service offerings is not entirely abandoning the “old world,” its traditional approach is being redefined within the parameters of the “new world,” and some innovative solutions and tactics are emerging as a result.

Ad Tracking in the Mobile World

Ad Tracking in the Mobile World Seattle–based M:Metrics, a mobile media provider, recently unveiled a competitive tracking service for mobile ads called M:AdTracker. The monthly syndicated data service continuously monitors clickable display advertising from a broad representative set of mobile Web destinations and then classifies the data by industry/sector, company, division and product/service to reveal leading advertisers in and across market segments. Marketers can gather insights on competitors’ seasonal tactics and other campaign rotation activity via weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual tracking. Web: www.mmetrics.com

Close the Loop Properly

We’ve all seen it: that circular diagram with all the steps direct marketers live through, starting with campaign planning and list acquisition, passing through inevitable data processing steps, and concluding with selection and source coding steps. Then there is a little arrow that connects the last step back to the beginning, capturing the responses we all hope to get out of campaigns. Anyone exposed to one-to-one marketing must have seen at least a few versions of “closed-loop marketing” diagrams. The diagram could take a different form depending on the presenter’s agenda, but the core of the idea is represented in a box called “response

Competitive on a Budget

Small marketing budgets don’t necessarily mean small ideas when it comes to search marketing. In fact, it’s the innovative and creative efforts that most often empower companies with the ability to learn and adapt. Over the past few years the practice of using search engines to market Web sites has progressed from a focus on optimizing text content and acquiring links to the optimization of a variety of searchable digital assets, including: images, audio and video, as well as content delivery formats like RSS and mobile search. As search engines evolve with features such as personalized, social and unified search, so must marketers—especially those

E-mail Strategies for Corporate Governance

Is e-mail communication so successful for your company that everyone wants to get in on the act? In many organizations, the marketing, sales, public relations, product marketing and market research departments all want to develop outbound e-mail communications. Many of these business units are likely to be unversed in e-mail best practices and legal issues. The end result can be a free-for-all that can damage your brand, annoy your customers and create serious liabilities for your company.

Golfers: In the Green, on the Green

You may not picture golfers as seekers of luxury and quality—in fact, if you’re not a golfer yourself, you probably picture them only as older men wearing plaid pants and berets with pom-poms on top. But if that’s your mental image of golfers, you’re missing out on a great market with dollars to spend.

How's Your Data Doing?

In November, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its first research on identity theft since 2003. It reported that 8.3 million adult Americans, or 3.7 percent of the population, were victims of this crime in 2005. Four years ago, the agency reported that 10 million Americans, or 4.6 percent, fell prey in 2001. At first blush, the numbers represent a drop in identity thefts in the U.S., but the FTC says the difference is not statistically significant. It also notes that usually this crime was perpetrated by people the victims knew personally. Still, 5 percent (1.5 million) said the theft was the result of

Learning to Write

When I ran this magazine, I told the editors we were experts talking to experts. They not only had to understand everything they wrote, but they also had to be able to explain it to their grandmothers. “This is the real world,” I admonished them. “We cannot fake it.”

Micro-target to Cut Attrition

In the last few years, a new marketing paradigm, event-based marketing (EBM), has emerged to turn traditional segment-centric direct marketing on its head. By monitoring customers’ ongoing Web activity and immediately reacting to any significant changes in visit behaviors, marketers now can micro-target communications to an audience with an immediate need or demonstrated attrition risk.

Mind the Gaps

Happy New Year! With 2008 budgets in place and sales goals set, it’s time to think about using new tools to increase response and strengthen customer relationships, whether you use direct mail to sell direct, generate leads, or drive Web site or retail store traffic.

Strategy vs. Tactics

Branding commonly is considered a critical part of any successful business these days, yet many people still view it as merely a creative endeavor. It’s something people dressed in black and armed with logos, typefaces and fancy color palettes do behind closed doors. But the truth is, branding is just as much about strategy as it is about tactics. It’s thinking and execution. It’s left brain plus right brain. It’s logic plus magic. You need to approach it from both sides to get the full impact from your branding efforts.


Kudos for Kurtz Great cover story about Brian Kurtz [October 2007, “Direct Marketer of the Year”]. One usually doesn’t expect much from such pieces, but this one dramatically exceeded expectations. Kurtz tells a great story (which perhaps resonates with me because I am a list guy) and is an inspiration. Would that more people gave back to the industry as much as he does. I speak as one of “the few” who do not know him personally, but your piece makes me hope that one day that will change. Terry Nugent VP Marketing Medical Marketing Service Inc. (MMS) Just got home from a trip and saw Brian Kurtz on

Tried-and-true Turned Trendy

Putting a new spin on the direct marketing mantras “write relevant” and “segment for profitability,” Canadian clothing company West49 introduced gender segmentation then revamped e-mail subject lines with a hook to drive customers to retail stores.