Go West, MarketersKnowingly or unknowingly, we have all received a leg-up in life - from Providence, family, friends, colleagues or customers. I owe much to all five, but here's a salute to co-workers who gave me a break in my career: Tad Clarke, the late Patrick Honan, Ken Magill and Adrian Courtenay at DM News and iMarketing News; Nancy Giges, Judy Pollack, Bill Britt, Suzie Bidlake and Laurel Wentz at Advertising Age; Marion Arathoon and Sylvester da Cunha at Adworld; and Sajid Peerbhoy from then Foote Cone & Belding affiliate Speer Communications. Thank you.
These executives recognized potential and took a risk. That was what made America numero uno. "Go West, young man," wasn't an empty slogan. It referenced the opportunities available to individuals and families who were willing to tackle an initial hardscrabble life for a better future. No need to repeat what happened, but clearly millions heeded that call to this nation's great benefit.
It is time for marketers - direct, database, interactive and brand - to revive that frontier spirit. Politics aside, the economy seems in fine shape. Consumers and businesses are spending. So take a risk. Push the envelope. Give the small guy a chance. Return that sales call. Make one. Call a customer. Thank a customer. Visit a customer. Answer that spunky e-mail. Open that mailer. Click on that Web link. Attend that trade show. Pitch that account. Write the CEO with an idea. Walk the shop floor. Pat someone's back - or maybe, stop doing it. Call your marketing agency - or hire one - for better visibility. Launch a product - and have patience. Throw a few media dollars at a new marketing medium. Test a customer segment you ignored. Test a list with no affinity to your product. Read this article and take action. Do something you never did before - good stuff, of course - in the next 10 minutes. You never know what will happen. At worst, it is a few minutes down the drain. At best, you and your company are much the richer, wiser and more useful to society at large.
At DM News, we are in the mood for risk. The team here wants to ensure a better product for its stakeholders - readers, owner and employees, advertisers, partners and service providers. We have the weekly newspaper, daily and weekly online newsletters and magazine supplements, as well as the site at www.dmnews.com and the blog at http://blog.dmnews.com. These publications make DM News the leading multichannel publisher of direct, database and interactive marketing news. We mirror the industry. The siloed approach won't work. Print must offer what electronic media doesn't and vice versa. The readers demand it, and marketers expect it.
It is our goal to ensure content in each channel is unique in value and complementary in nature. Few publishers have nailed this down to a fine art. But we are willing to take a chance, with your help and involvement with the DM News brand. We are here to inform and educate marketers as well as generate valuable leads with a mix of timely news, thoughtful analysis and strongly held opinion. We are willing to write about risk - marketing waters being charted, commercial roads being mapped - if you're up for the trek.
Something different in the next 10 minutes - please don't forget.
Mickey Alam Khan is editor in chief of DM News. His editorial appears Mondays on www.dmnews.com and in our e-mail newsletter. You can subscribe to our e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters