Mary Ann Kleinfelter

The best way for marketers to make the most of their customer relationships is to understand their customers' needs, wants, values. That’s precisely why customer segmentation is so vital—it provides valuable information about customers so marketers can furnish stronger, more targeted offers.

The trouble is customer segmentation comes with its challenges, and marketers often trip up during the process. Here, industry professionals discuss common mistakes marketers should avoid when performing customer segmentation.

The most basic form of response tracking requires direct marketers to determine which promotions generate the most sales, orders or inquiries for lead generation. Tracking activity to the promotion that generated it has always been a challenge, especially for B-to-B marketers. The number and complexity of those challenges keeps increasing, but the payback is becoming even more attractive as the latest postage increase makes B-to-B print materials more costly. Fortunately, there are many options B-to-B marketers can use to gain insight into how different promotions perform. A Complex Process Business buyers range from purchasing agents at extremely large technical companies who place orders

Direct mail is marketing’s workhorse for a reason. It’s resolute and reliable, even in the face of challenge. According to the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) “2006 Response Rate Trends Report,” the medium produces the second highest response rates (behind catalogs) for marketers seeking to solicit direct-order sales or motivate customers to make a charitable contribution. So how does one of the oldest marketing mediums stay effective and relevant despite intense competition? For this special report on production and paper, we asked some of the best and brightest minds in the direct mail business to share their opinions on the trends driving innovation in the

B-to-B marketers always are looking to grow their site penetration—that is, the number of individuals at a current customer site who purchase from them. To grab a greater share of a customer’s business, consider mailing non-buying prospects at buying sites, suggests Mary Ann Kleinfelter, marketing director at Carus Publishing. Kleinfelter is a well-known direct marketing expert with experience in both business-to-consumer and business-to-business marketing, and has worked for such firms as Sylvan Learning Center, Bedford Fair Apparel, Delta Education, PaperDirect and Daytimers. According to Kleinfelter, these prospects can be identified by running inquiries, leads and rented lists against your housefile. If the company name of

Converting qualified leads into bonafide sales is both an art and a science. Mary Ann Kleinfelter, director of direct mail for Baltimore, Md.-based tutoring services provider Sylvan Learning Center, and a 20-plus-year veteran of the direct marketing industry, spoke with Target Marketing Group and offered her tips on the do's and don't of driving B-to-B sales. Target Marketing Group: What are some common mistakes B-to-B marketers make when trying to drive sales? Mary Ann Kleinfelter: Some of the most common B-to-B marketing mistakes start simply with the design of promotional pieces. B-to-B promotions do not have to be boring. Humor can be

Driven by the need to be more compliant and more efficient, companies are cozying up to their databases like never before. According to a Forrester Research report released mid-2004, spending on data warehousing is expected to see double-digit growth this year. And because a stocked data warehouse is worthless unless you use it to glean business insight, The Data Warehousing Institute predicts a continued demand for data mining tools. If your data interests fit this national—if not global—trend, then this month's cover story, themed "Know Your Customer," can help you get the most out of your quest to better understand your interactions with

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