Integrating transaction, behavior data, and social data provides a powerful foundation for creating individualized customer communications.
Exceptional teams drive results in a way that produces a multiplier effect. Here are three tips on how to get there.
If you look at the big winners at this year's Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, amid the highly anticipated usual suspects you'll see a name that sounds more like computer software or a robot than a brand: Rom.
Direct marketing agencies got their mojo back this year as revenues improved and clients began spending across marketing disciplines again. Where the watch words last year were "belt-tightening" and "shrinking budgets," this year recovery and steady growth are what top executives are talking about.
Data and technology are not the answer to your marketing problems.
Spend any time working at any type of agency and one thing is clear: All agencies operate in silos. Conventional wisdom, in service of integration, indicates silos are intrinsically bad, and it's the job of agency management to tear down the walls, but by embracing and nurturing functional silos, an agency's expertise can actually flourish.
If you Google "agency of the future," 104 million results bubble up. Points of view range from completely digital, to some combination of digital technology and social analytics with consumer insights.
At a time of great change, we reach for new words to describe what is happening, even though they later may prove meaningless.
A number of traditional direct marketing companies have recently made top creative hires. Two experts discuss whether service providers should focus on creative talent, or on their strengths.
In today's competitive market, experience, tactical expertise, education and a mantel-full of industry awards may not be enough to land you a job, let alone your dream job. In fact, they may only be enough to get you a "thanks for your time." To stand apart, you'll need more.
Marketers can take a more holistic approach to where brand social media platforms fit organically and can be sustained without resorting to "check the box" mentality (On Facebook? Check. On Twitter? Check.). What marketers have come to realize is that mere presence on emerging platforms means little when compared to how they use it.
It is a new year, but one in which direct and digital marketers continue to watch marketing budgets and exercise caution by sticking with proven and efficient marketing channels. Many companies remain more inclined to keep close to their existing customers rather than experiment with lofty acquisition strategies.
The business-to-business buying cycle is complex. B-to-b purchases involve three to four more decision makers today than in 2001. Analysts estimate that closing a b-to-b sale takes 20% longer today than a few years ago. Part of that increase is due to the exponentially larger number of marketing channels that are available. Even though more channels means more ways to reach buyers, they also increase the chance of a disconnect between marketing and sales.
Ad agency Web sites suck. Well, most of them. I was doing research recently that involved visiting a long list of agency Web sites, including the global players in the direct marketing space and the generalists.
I believe there is beauty in simplicity. I love the practical architecture of a Frank Lloyd Wright designed building, the precision engineering of a BMW automobile, and the technically brilliant functionality of the Apple iPhone. There is also a need right now for clear thinking and simplicity in marketing. So, in keeping with the philosophy of "Do Fewer Things Better," I recommend a three-point strategy for maximizing the effectiveness of your marketing programs by investing your marketing budget on those things that have been proven to deliver the best results, something I call the Triangle Offensive.
One month into the life of Bing, Microsoft's revamped search engine, the industry is buzzing over initial promising usage statistics and market share claims. Yet others are more cautious, suggesting that short-term usage stats do not necessarily equate with a change in consumer behavior and long-term market share gain.
Dynamic ads are quickly becoming a necessity for forward-thinking agencies and brands. The power to target messaging in real time and optimize creative performance without the production costs and headaches is a value proposition few can ignore.
Sometimes, snobbery sells. People don't buy a BMW 700 series automobile because they think it's a superior car. They buy it because it appeals to their inner snob. But, when BMW creates promotional materials, it makes sure to differentiate between the product and the promotion.
When Omniture announced a new solution to measure the success of Facebook applications last week, it was just another example of the growing complexity of analytics and the expansion of analytics beyond Web sites to social media content hubs such as YouTube, Facebook and blogs. In a way, experts say, the term 'Web analytics' itself is becoming a bit of a misnomer.
The issues surrounding behavioral targeting moved front and center last week with the news that ISP-level targeting firm NebuAd had effectively shuttered operations in the U.S, though to many the closure came as no surprise, thanks to the scrutiny surrounding their practices.
Last week, DMNews held its first editorial webcast. It was sponsored by e-mail marketing firm Lyris, developed and hosted by associate editor Dianna Dilworth, and featured input from Sylvia Sierra, VP of marketing at Access Intelligence; and Jeanniey Mullen, executive director of the Email Experience Council and EVP and CMO at Zinio.
Rising prices and a tough economy are hurting everyone. But the answer isn't to stop mailing — rather, the answer is to mail smart.
Last October, the DMNews team had an unparalleled opportunity to eavesdrop on the judges of the John Caples International Awards, who gathered in New York to assess creative work of peers from countries around the world.
The agency business, often led by direct marketing, is fundamentally re-orienting toward accountability and collaboration. This means that all kinds of agencies must work together to prove and improve their results for clients.
In customer retention and loyalty marketing, the buzz phrase of the moment is "engagement marketing." While a vital piece of any acquisition program, its use in the retention segment has recently morphed from engaging customers via dialogue and personalized communications, to inviting them to actively participate with brands, via interactive blogs, viral video contests and social networking sites.
At last week's Direct Marketing Association's annual convention in Las Vegas, I witnessed remarkable collaboration across disciplines and national borders. I was inspired to step outside of the traditional business arena for some fresh perspective. Despite spending the week in Nevada's desert, I reflected on something aquatic: The crystal jelly, a glowing sea animal studied by this month's Nobel Prize in Chemistry honorees.
Agencies looking to build up their business cannot rely on dated approaches to attract new clients. Our experts explain how unconventional strategies can be put into play.
October is not traditionally a month during which one has much time to reflect. Schools are back in session, preparation and shopping for the holidays begins and, for direct marketing, the industry gathers at some of the biggest shows of the year to swap business cards and trade tactics.
Mark Twain once wrote, "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme." His quote definitely rings true in the online marketing world. In the early days of the Web, marketing practices closely mimicked those of the print world, before evolving to fully realize the unique benefits of life online.
Every advertising medium from time to time fights an urban myth of the "alligators in the sewer" sort. For example, the Yellow Pages industry, which, with the current "green" phenomenon, is fighting the myth that millions of trees are cut down each year in order to print your local directories.
As interactions become increasingly digital, will the agency world ever see online pitching replace the in-person, face-to-face conference room pitch meeting? Our experts debate.
There is a premium on talent in the current search engine marketing (SEM) landscape. Since search is still a fairly new area, there are relatively few seasoned professionals with proven track records. It is rare to find someone with SEM experience covering several business verticals who is also fluent in the major search engine interfaces.
As the war for talent rages and the economy leaves clients seeking speed-to-market advantage, we are all faced with attracting — and staffing — our companies with the best of the best.
How does the Mona Lisa draw people in? Is it her eyes? That elusive smile? Or could it be the overall effect of the entire painting? If you only saw Mona Lisa's eyes, would you want to see more? These are the questions you should be asking yourself when designing and writing an e-mail.
You have to treat Web analytics positions with high priority and care. They are quickly becoming the hottest commodities in marketing departments. Just a few years ago it was a fight to get decision makers to acknowledge the legitimacy of having a Web analyst on the team. Now, they can't find enough of them.
You may have noticed that the Private View element in The Work has recently been expanded, to allow the creatives that generously give their time to critique the work we run in the feature a little more space to show off their insights.
The market is very different from a year ago. There are many more active job seekers and fewer opportunities. Within the direct marketing industry, high growth segments of the market include e-mail, analytics, research, digital media, SEO/SEM and other online marketing positions.
Over the past couple of years, there has been a lot of talk about the coming collapse of the traditional advertising model, as the online space gains more and more marketing dollars. While the decline of the 30-second TV commercial has been well documented, there has been less said about how the changing marketplace will impact direct marketing.
Last year will certainly go down in history as the Year of the Ad Network. Industry giants such as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, and WPP doled out over $12 billion to snatch up players such as DoubleClick, aQuantive, Blue Lithium, 24/7, Right Media and Tacoda.
When a potential recruit asks if there is a "lack of opportunity" with a smaller business, I highlight some of the advantages. Smaller marketing businesses often promote entrepreneurship, vision and innovation at an individual level.
It's a reality now that marketers and their DM partners are feeling the effects of shifting, even declining, budgets, and many are nimbly making tweaks to their business models. InfoUSA is like many others who are grappling with the slowing growth of the direct mail business, and it has worked to build up its technological capabilities, enhancing the power of its database offerings.
There's a lot more to be learned from your e-mail campaigns than open and clickthrough rates will tell you. By using a Web analytics tool to analyze the behavior of respondents, you can gain valuable insight to just how effective your e-mail campaign is — or isn't.
I've had several interesting conversations over the past couple of weeks pondering a tricky subject: What is the definition of a DM agency? It used to be easier to define. Mostly, they were defined by what they were not — the branding ad agency, which controlled and advocated for broadcast spend. These were the data guys, who liked to send stuff through the mail.
The Internet provides an unprecedented opportunity to connect buyers with sellers, but it has also evolved into a more competitive landscape with fewer barriers to entry than any marketing method that has come before it.
I have a secret to tell you. Latin America is hot and filled with passion - I mean, in the marketing services business. If you don't know the region, you're probably missing out.
The use of white papers as a marketing tool has skyrocketed in recent years, not only for selling information technology but also to promote various products and services beyond hardware and software.
Company of the week
R2C creates, produces, distributes and measures messages that inspire and compel consumers to do something with a brand to drive commercial advantage. The full-service advertising agency specializes in creative, production, media, analytics and performance.
What's in our mailbox this month: fitness postcards from Retro Fitness, American Woman Fitness Centers, Union's United Taekwondo Academy, and Bally Total Fitness. (We're totally pumped.)
Social data can improve a brand's bottom line and customer relationships. Just ask brands Infiniti and Diamond Nexus.
Here are three must-have data sets that every marketer should include in his or her email strategy.