Target Marketing September 2013
What's the future of marketing? What can you do with augmented reality in direct mail and print marketing? How do you optimize print, email and marketing automation strategies to engage customers?
Up until the dawn of the Internet, I thought I knew pretty much all there was to know about B-to-B marketing communications. Since the Web's advent, new B-to-B marketing methods have proliferated, some of which I know almost nothing about. Marketing automation is at the top of the list. I knew it was a hot trend, had some vague notion of what it entailed, but my understanding was foggy at best.
It's a given for skiers—the first thing they want to know about any ski area is: "What are the conditions?" So Heidi Lutz, director of sales and marketing at Blue Mountain Ski Area and Resort in Palmerton, Pa., made sure that would be the first thing site visitors would see. Now, the upper-right-hand corner of skibluemt.com urges desktop visitors to "VIEW.BLUE.LIVE!" and a click lands the viewer on "Mountain Cams."
On July 12, 2013, The New York Times ran the obituary of Amar G. Bose. He was the inventor of the Acoustic Wave Music System, noise canceling headphones and myriad high-tech audio systems for consumers and businesses. Bose advertising has always fascinated me.
Some LinkedIn commenters seem to consider almost any online interactivity that accompanies e-commerce to be "content marketing"—comments, user reviews, etc. My definition would be narrower.
Check out the marketing titles publishing in September, October and November from McGraw Hill, Wiley and Kogan Page.
For the last two or three years, print magazines, TV and blogs have been proclaiming "this is the year for mobile." Articles and speeches were presented solely around the idea of a "mobile first" approach. Well, it's now 2013 and we can all agree this whole mobile thing is not a fad. In fact, it's pretty much the dominant force in many facets of all businesses, regardless of category or market.
Sometimes, when challenging my clients to think innovatively, I pull out Scrabble and take out two powerful letters, the E and the R. I then ask brand leaders to brainstorm words using those two letters as prefixes and suffixes. We make lists like these: REfresh, REinvent, REinvigorate, REpurpose, REmind, REmodel, REengergize and others such as strongER, easiER, quickER, slowER, kindER. Then we spend our time using those words as prompts and lenses to examine our existing marketing strategies and see how we can go one better: One better than where we are now, one better than the competitive offering, one better than our customer expects. It's our jumping off point for deeper strategic thinking, for pushing the envelope, for getting us out of our comfort zones.
"In 1960, there were five marketing channels; in 2013, there are 60-plus marketing channels." This is an interesting statement I recently took away from attending the Pardot B2B Inspiration Tour. Sixty-plus?! No wonder integrating online and offline data has become such a pressing need and an increasing challenge for almost all marketing organizations.
With the recent unveiling of iOS7, Apple appears to be taking a bold move away from its previous interface design aesthetic. The new OS abandons the traditionally skeuomorphic look and feel in favor of a distinctively flat design. Microsoft has been forwarding flat design in its Xbox 360 dashboards, the Windows 8 OS and even in the recent conversion of Hotmail to Outlook.
Welcome to the brand new list of Target Marketing's Top 50 Mailers. For the first time, we are relying exclusively on data from our partner Who's Mailing What! in compiling this list, as well as the other lists in this article, combined with list management information provided by SRDS. Who's Mailing What! has compiled the most complete library of direct mail and email in the world, and has tracked mail for more than 25 years. Earlier this year, it relaunched on a state-of-the-art, fully searchable platform.