Futurist Don Libey Set for DM News Video Interview

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DM News has announced that noted futurist and strategic thinker Don Libey will be the subject of a videotaped interview conducted Nov. 20 by editor in chief Tad Clarke.

Libey, well-known in DM and catalog circles for his analyses of strategic conditions and opportunities, will be questioned on his recently expressed views that all direct marketing was "birthed from the field sales and retail sales worlds" and that a coming shakeout in the retail channel will play directly to DMers' strengths.

The interview, "Wal-Martization and the Rebirth of Direct Marketing," will be the third in a series of videotaped interviews and panel discussions from DM News. It will be available in DVD, VHS or CD format for $69 and can be ordered by contacting Charlton Cham at 212/925-7300, Ext. 238, or by e-mail to Charlton@dmnews.com. The production will be sponsored by list brokerage and management firm MeritDirect.

Libey will address the top challenge to direct marketers, which he has called the "Wal-Martization of America," a retailing trend that has caused Americans to grow hyper-sensitized to price. This fact bodes ill for catalogs with products like $14,000 stainless steel backyard grills and faux flower pots selling for $389 each, he says.

He also will be asked to expound on recent comments regarding "the incredible myth and charlatanism" of customer relationship marketing and how it has "relegated nearly all small customers -- consumer and business-to-business -- to an endless loop of recorded menus and a maze of 'options designed to help serve you better.'"

Though the challenges are great and the sustainability of consumer spending is suspect, Libey promises to use "Wal-Martization and the Rebirth of Direct Marketing" to show that it all adds up to a big opportunity for catalogers and other DMers and also to identify strategies to exploit this opportunity.

Libey has given keynote presentations at industry conferences worldwide and facilitates a series of CEO Intensives for strategic partner MeritDirect. He has been an owner, director, CEO and operator of catalog companies and has specialized in senior-level advisory and investment banking services exclusively to the catalog, DM and e-commerce businesses since 1988. He has written seven books about direct marketing and is publisher of the Libey-Concordia Economic Outlook.

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