Bridging the channel divide

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Bridging the channel divide
Bridging the channel divide

Ginger Conlon, editor-in-chief, Direct Marketing News

Two areas I advocate for in marketing are two areas at the center of many heated debates these days: print and behavioral targeting.

When it comes to print, I find myself drawn to stylishly designed catalogs by my favorite fashion brands, as well as the magazine ads that introduce me to new finds. You may say that's because I'm 48, but I beg to differ: Claudia, my 14-year-old daughter, enthusiastically grabs her Seventeen magazine the day it arrives and tosses herself on the couch to peruse it cover to cover. She does the same with catalogs.

One thing Claudia and I both enjoy is the increasingly multichannel nature of print. Digital and mobile calls to action spark our interest. We're not alone. In “Pushing the Envelope,” writer Erin Dostal examines the evolution of print's integration with and support of digital channels—and the growing popularity of that multichannel approach among consumers and marketers alike.

While some marketers deride print channels as old-fashioned, those marketers who use it creatively, especially as part of an integrated marketing strategy, can stand out in a crowd of me-too communications in other channels.

Another way to stand out is with hyper-relevant communications. Behavioral targeting can help marketers achieve that. When done well, there's nothing quite like it. It can make marketing feel like customer service. In “Be relevant, not creepy,” contributor Nicole Spector discusses how to harness customer data from across channels and use it wisely to engage customers without seeming invasive.

We can thank Senior Editor Ryan Joe for the breadth of insight in those articles. We can also thank him for pulling together a hopping lineup for our sessions at this year's DMA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

Ryan Joe, senior editor, Direct Marketing News

What'll happen in Vegas will be so excellent, you won't be able to keep it in Vegas. At the DMA Annual Conference in Las Vegas from Oct. 13 to 18, Direct Marketing News will be hosting three thought-provoking Town Square sessions that include a deep look into Godiva's (yes, there will be chocolate) B2B strategies with Pete Campbell, the chocolatier's director of corporate sales and customer care.

We'll also hear from Nancy Harhut, chief creative officer at Wilde Agency, and Joanna Peña-Bickley, SVP and executive creative director at Ryan Partnership, to review current marketing campaigns that deliver on the ideals of courageous marketing in today's customer-centric world.

Finally, what's a visit to Las Vegas without a prize fight? In our live-action Battle of the Brands panel, two casinos' marketing strategies will go head-to-head, refereed by Stacia Goddard, EVP of client services at Epsilon's Aspen Marketing, Ken Fitzgerald, executive creative director at Catalyst, and Michael Miller, CMO of Hyper Marketing.

But the good times on the Strip notwithstanding, we here at Direct Marketing News continue our fundamental mission to bring you the latest information on trends and strategies in the ever-changing marketing industry. Look for us to continue our deep-dives into nascent practices, such as behavioral targeting and Big Data, as well as traditional outlets, such as print and production. And, we'll examine how the new disciplines combine with the old so that you can optimize your current direct marketing campaigns and better plan for future initiatives.

We look forward to seeing you in Vegas. Bring your mobile devices, and don't forget to tweet what you've learned, because there will be prizes.

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