Palo Alto, Calif.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

The AFL-CIO has endorsed the Postal Workers’ (APWU's) boycott of the office supply giant Staples over the U.S. Postal Service’s privatization of retail operations by contracting mail services to Staples, with “postal counters” staffed with low-wage, high-turnover Staples employees rather than postal employees. The USPS began contracting out postal services to Staples in October. So far, 80 Staples stores are part of the pilot program. But the USPS plans to expand the scheme to 1,500 Staples locations nationwide at the same time the USPS is eliminating public post offices.

Some marketers still do not believe social media has much to offer. Others are hankering to know so much about it that they want to hear the predictions for 2012 "in the realm of social analytics for customer experience management." To that end, Rebecca MacDonald does not disappoint.

Facebook Inc. is attracting more advertising, but marketers are still trying to figure out the value of those ads. New data from comScore Inc. show that in September 24 percent of all online display ads in the U.S. appeared on Facebook—more than twice as many as any other publisher.

Five is the magic number for Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP Software, says Rod Lehman, the company's senior director of Americas marketing. That's how many touches consumers may require before converting, he told an intimate group of DMA2010 attendees during his session, "Effective Lead Nurturing: The Key to Doubling Conversion Rates."

The stack of paperwork involved in buying a house sometimes can seem as tall as the dwelling itself. And that's not just from the buyer's perspective. So Jason Lemkin, CEO of Palo Alto, Calif.-based EchoSign, knew that as an online signature software provider, his company could help everyone involved in the real estate vertical. The only question left was how to approach these people.

If you’re measuring your search engine marketing program performance based on traffic, clicks and page views, you’re actually stuck out in left field. The main metrics that matter, according to Andreas Ramos and Roslyn Layton, are customer lifetime value, contribution margin and close rate, which then help you determine your target cost per lead or cost per action.

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