Imagination, innovation keys to industry success

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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.

Yet, I recently had several conversations that made me pause and look back at what the industry has achieved this year. For example, when speaking about the Direct Marketing Associa­tion's annual show, DMA president John Greco pointed out the central role that integration and data privacy have come to play in today's marketing strategy.

Last fall, when DMNews re-examined its design and content, seeking the best way to encapsulate the industry, we could only imagine the importance that social media and mobile would play to further traditional DM. I'm looking forward to extending that reach in our print magazine, online and on our recently launched mobile Web site: http://mobile.dmnews.com/.

My most powerful moment of reflection came last week, as Wunderman celebrated its 50-year legacy at a gala event in New York. Lester Wunderman, a man credited with giving direct marketing its definition, addressed employees and clients worldwide and said that his agency aims to bring “dignity and imagination” to advertising. What a fabulous way to sum up the mission of one's brand.

This pairing is one that all direct marketers are often faced with – metrics, measurement and tracking can only be imple­mented successfully if they are done in intelligent and respon­sible ways. Yet, without imagination, marketing would fail to connect, excite and entice us all to take notice of a product and seek it out. So, as you balance your fall calendars, remember to also balance your approach to the work and reflect on the dignity and imagination DM requires.

Contact me at cara.wood@dmnews.com

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