How to save the US Postal Service by ProQuest


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									        10 | DMNEWS | August 9, 2010 |


                                 Editorial                             Preparing for the big holiday game
                                  Carol Krol                                                                                                       they are almost always looking at the numbers independent
                                  Editor-in-chief,                                                                                                 of the customer dimension.
                                  DMNews                                                                                                              It is much more important to understand how effective
                                                                                                                                                   specific marketing initiatives are with individual customers.
                                                                                                   Michael Haydock                                 The average retailer serves customers who fall into at least
                                                                                                   Retail analytics leader, IBM                    a dozen distinct categories. These include extremely loyal
                                                                                                   Global Business Services                        shoppers, as well as customers who only shop sales or only
                                                                                                                                                   shop the retailer in a single narrow category.

        DMA steps in the right                                           During August, marketing chiefs at major retailers are
                                                                       like athletes before the big game. They know what’s on
                                                                                                                                                      With so many customer groups and so many media types,
                                                                                                                                                   it becomes a very complex web to untangle.

        direction with new CEO
                                                                       the line. The decisions they make about how and where                          Modern analytics can tell a retailer how well a product
                                                                       to allocate the holiday season marketing budget will likely                 is selling with a certain category of customer in a specific
                                                                       spell the difference between victory and defeat for the entire              market, and how badly with another group in another

               fter an exhaustive, six-month-long search, the Direct   year. And it’s a long time until next season.                               market. It can tease out crucial facts. For example, ana-
               Marketing Association named Lawrence Kimmel               It has never been harder to figure out where to spend                     lytics can tell marketers that the online ads are effective
               president and CEO.                                      marketing dollars. It used to be enough to have a big budget.               against one competitor but not another. It can recommend
          Kimmel was chairman and CEO of Grey Direct from              You’d divide your resources among TV, radio, newspapers,                    a robust defensive strategy aimed at maximizing revenue,
        2000 to 2008, before it was renamed G2 Direct & Digital,       direct mail and the catalog.                                                such as running a print campaign targeting a specific set
        and prior to that logged time as EVP at Draft Worldwide          No longer. Today, there are far more places to spend – and,               of customers in a specific market.
        and president of Unimark, a direct marketing agency            potentially, waste – your money: countless cable channels,                     This holiday season, retailers need to rely on more sophis-
        he founded.                                                    Web ads, YouTube.                                                           ticated analytics to achieve a distinct advantage in the mar-
          It is refreshing to see the industry trade association         Fortunately, analytics technology can help. Most big                      ketplace. That will give them greater ability to pull in more
        tap an agency executive with years of direct marketing         companies already perform basic analysis to understand                      revenue from current customers and attract new customers.
        experience. The strategy is a departure from its last two      the effectiveness of their marketing programs. However,           
        appointments. John Greco, who resigned in February,

                                                                       How to save the US Postal Service
        had no direct marketing or agency experience, and his
        predecessor, Robert Wientzen, came out of the consumer
        packaged goods industry.
          There has been much change and dissent at the DMA
        in the past 12 months, which has not served the group                                                                                      loss of $7 billion in 2011. Now the postal service has proposed
        well. The organization scaled back, cutting staff signifi-                                                                                 a 23.3% average increase for standard parcels and non-flat
        cantly in multiple layoff rounds and shuttering some                                                                                       machinable pieces.
        conferences last year.                                                                                                                       This means a grim future for thousands of companies
          In September 2009, then COO Ramesh Lakshmi-Ratan                                         Craig A. Huey                                   and millions of jobs for marketers, retailers and business
        left the organization to lead a division at Pitney Bowes.                                  President,                                      owners. And the consumer loses, as well.
        Board member Gerry Pike launched a website last year,                                      Creative Direct Marketing Group                   What’s more, to raise prices above the Consumer Price Index
        called, questioning the group’s gov-                                                                                        would violate the safeguards imposed on pricing in the Postal
        ernance. He ultimately retained his spot on the DMA’s            Direct mail will be dead for many companies and dying                     Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, according to
        board last October, but it was not without some measure        for many more — if postal rates rise in 2011.                               Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who authored the law.
        of drama.                                                        Some have the delusion that small reforms at the US Postal                  Monopolies cut service in
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