Portland, Ore.

With more and more consumers using smartphones and tablets to engage with brands, mobile has quickly become an essential part of the customer experience. But are marketers keeping pace with consumers' wants and needs in the mobile marketplace? Not necessarily

A lucky 13 percent of all searches relate to Web users trying to find information about local items, according to comScore. According to Google, 20 percent of searches on its engine are related to location. Yet only four million businesses have claimed their spots in Google Places—perhaps representative of the overall situation.

Data units mined from social networking sites often can be more difficult to categorize than the usual demographic information direct marketers collect in their data mining expeditions. However, keeping the minefield for data mining in mind, social networking sites are still replete with veins of consumer-insight gold. According to experts, marketers should extract that treasure, but carefully.

I conducted a fascinating interview with Richard Rosen, famed direct marketer and author of "Convergence Marketing: Combining Brand and Direct for Unprecedented Profits," for the final print issue of Inside Direct Mail. Rosen is founder, president and CEO of ROSEN, a global consultancy firm based in Portland, Ore. that specializes in transforming marketing and advertising campaigns into cost-effective business models. His firm has received 28 Echo Awards, and Richard has received the Caples Organization's Emerson Award and the first "B-to-B Marketer of the Year Award" by the International Direct Marketing Association

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