Balancing the new with basic

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Massive shows such as the DMA always present a basic versus innovative dilemma. It seems the DMA has tried to address all this with Boot Camp topics on creative and customer service as well as nouveau ones on emerging channels, search engine optimization and so on. It is interesting to note that a few years ago, the hot topic was CRM and now there is a session on "CRM - Is it still relevant?"

DMA, of course, uses the horizontal approach for broad appeal to marketers, ranging from catalogs and financial services to fastfood chains and sports teams.

Cambey & West is devoted to those media companies who have periodicals, e-newsletters and ancillary one-off products, and I do not see much with these companies in the line-up, and even less on circulation and fulfillment. There are other conferences solely for these disciplines. That said, our customers are interested in the direct marketing basics as well as innovations. On the basics front, they are concerned about the postal and paper hikes, security issues and cost efficiencies.

The overriding goal among our medium-size clients for the coming year is to get their arms around the wonderful raw databases they have built up over the past few years, and to bring the files and accompanying histories together. Any conference which presents solid case studies on how others are doing this is a great help to our clients, because the audience development or marketing director has to gain cooperation from internal departments and convince their management of the far-reaching benefits of these consolidated databases.

On the innovations side, our clients would like to understand more about search engine optimization for subscriptions, a science unto itself. While giant media companies can devote staff to bid and monitor, smaller companies would like to get in the game, too, but most likely lack the resources.

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