Lois Brayfield

Thorin McGee is editor-in-chief and content director of Target Marketing and oversees editorial direction and product development for the magazine, website and other channels.

Lois Brayfield is CEO at J.Schmid and Associates, a direct-marketing agency specializing in catalog design. She knows what works and has the experience to prove it— 30 years of studying direct marketing and catalog results. She applies this wealth of data to every project and has helped develop an integrated process that ensures campaign effectiveness. She knows the rules, and she knows when to ignore them.

While making an emotional connection with customers is becoming more important, most of the experts we interviewed for this article saw technology as part of the solution, not the problem. The trick is not just to have technology that works for you, but to be able to use technology as an extension of your marketing department. Can you make technology part of the marketing team?

Since the earliest days of direct marketing—and brand marketing, for that matter—efforts have been measured in the pseudo-military terminology of "the campaign." You have an objective, a plan, the resources to implement it, and you attack. The campaign succeeds or fails, then you go back to the drawing board to work on your next campaign.

One of the biggest advantages of direct marketing has always been that it's highly accountable. You spend the money to create a campaign (whether via direct mail, email, telephone, pay-per-click ads, or what have you), and you can see clearly how that converts and how those conversions lead to sales, revenue and an impact on your bottom line.

Want to read more about how printing technologies can take your direct mail marketing to the next level? Here are 12 articles and resources on targetmarketingmag.com and directmarketingiq.com that are worth visiting for more information

A couple months ago, I told you about Integrated Marketing Conference 2012, to be held anywhere you have access to a computer on Aug. 16. Well, Aug. 16 is practically here, and it is shaping up to be a great show. Check out the agenda for yourself.

Customers … why don't they just do what we want? That would make direct marketing so much easier, wouldn't it? Unfortunately, it's not that easy. In today's marketing climate—with so many choices, technological devices and brand messages bombarding the senses—it's more difficult than ever to get customers to do anything, let alone what you want them to do.

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