Editorial by ProQuest

VIEWS: 6 PAGES: 2

Marketers also cannot afford to ignore data, which is the effective result if you aren't integrating data at every customer touchpoint. In this week's Spotlight conversation, Merkle CEO David Williams advocates for a customer-centric model (page 9). For me, this phrase has always raised skepticism due to its seemingly nave simplicity. Aren't all marketers fundamentally customer-focused?

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									        8 | DMNEWS | May 4, 2009 | www.dmnews.com



        OPINION


                                 Editorial
                                                                     Innovation and tech key to DM survival
                                                                                                                                                             action. A sharp reexamination of the marketing-channel
                                                                                                                                                             mix is well underway for many marketers and their service
                                                                                                                                                             providers. Campaigns that effectively integrate both on-
                                                                                                                                                             and offline media will likely achieve maximum consumer
                                                                                                                                                             impact and response.
                                  Cara Wood                                                       Pat O’Brien                                                  Thankfully, technology helps to address the fundamental
                                  Editor-in-chief,                                                CMO,                                                       shifts we see in our industry and will play a critical role in
                                  DMNews                                                          Direct Group                                               any direct marketer’s success. Direct marketing has become
                                                                                                                                                             more automated with the advent of ingenious new software
                                                                        As the Winterberry Group reported recently, direct mail                              and process solutions. With highly segmented data, digital


         D
                ata is the unquestionable currency of direct mar-    is a “channel in transformation,” with profound changes                                 printing, and precise measurement tools, we can now
                keting. It fuels new customer acquisition, informs   taking place almost daily. Faced with unprecedented eco-                                execute customized campaigns at a level of sophistication
                new product development, drives relevance for        nomic conditions, marketers have drastically reevaluated                                we never dreamed possible even 10 years ago.
         existing customers and, in economic conditions like         their reliance on traditional methods, and have stepped up                                At the same time, cost control remains at the fore-
         these, helps marketers justify their media spend and        demand for more precisely targeted, data-driven market-                                 front. With postal costs at an all-time high (and only
         their jobs to the company CFO.                              ing and higher returns on every dollar spent.                                           going higher), our industry is challenged to create new
           At Ad:tech San Francisco last month, I saw renewed           Direct mail still commands more than $50 billion in US                               approaches that mitigate the impact of those costs. New
         excitement around the power of data. Whether you            marketer spending, ensuring its viability for the foresee-                              technologies have enabled marketers to develop postal and
         are developing cutting-edge behavioral targeting mod-       able future. Even so, 2009 promises to be both a trying                                 campaign optimization techniques that significantly reduce
         els, segmenting your online audience or subscriber          and telling year in our industry as we wait for whole                                   the impact of postal costs and help eliminate postal waste.
         base or using social networking to monitor customer         industries to regain their footing and focus on growing                                   The time for innovation is now. We may face historic
         trends and brand awareness, digital communication           their businesses.                                                                       economic uncertainty, but we also have an extraordinary
         has changed the speed and the volume of the data               That being said, even in the short- to mid-term, success                             opportunity to shape the future of our industry.
         acquisition and processing your team must do.               stories are likely to emerge from companies that take bold                              pat.obrien@directgroup.net
           Data is the key asset that companies everywhere
         are willing to invest in today. Social media digitizes


                                                                     Get comfortable with new FTC regs
         the previously invisible word-of-mouth phenomenon.
         Brand marketers are now faced with traceable personal
         conversations that can inform — or curtail — elaborate
         creative campaigns based on measurable buzz.
           In this issue, we sought to capture the excitement                                                                                                  Disclosure of the offer’s material terms must come before
         and the challenges that come with collecting, main-                                                                                                 consumers incur a financial obligation. and marketers
         taining and using the glut of data critical to the indus-                                                                                           should also obtain consumers’ affirmative consent to the
         try, in the first annual DMNews/CognitiveDATA Data                                                                                                  offer. Clicking a button such as “I agree” is a sufficient
         Management Survey (page 13). An overwhelming                                                                                                        affirmative step to demonstrate consent.
         theme was the importance of data quality. With 43%                                       Thomas Cohn                                                  Lastly, marketers should not impede the effective
         of marketers spending a third or more of their day                                       Counsel,                                                   operation of promised cancellation procedures. Cancella-
         on data management and 72% of companies allocat-                                         Venable LLP New York                                       tion procedures should not be burdensome for consum-
         ing 20% or more of their yearly marketing budgets                                                                                                   ers, such as those requiring consumers to wait on hold for
         to data management, no one can afford to feed bad             On February 9, the Federal Trade Commission issued a                                  unreasonably long periods of time.
         data through a costly and time-consuming pipeline.          staff report defining “negative option marketing” broadly                                 These principles do not have the force of law and are
           Marketers also cannot afford to ignore data,              as a “category of commercial transactions in which sellers                              intended merely to guide industry in complying with
         which is the effective resul
								
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