8 | DMNEWS | May 4, 2009 | www.dmnews.com
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
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 email@example.com
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