Keynote Speaker: Marketing Officers Are Seeing the Value of Data

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ORLANDO, FL -- Chief marketing officers are starting to understand the importance of data, measurements and accountability in direct marketing efforts, Stephen Diorio, keynote speaker at the Winter 2003 National Center for Database Marketing Conference, said yesterday.

Diorio, managing partner of marketing consulting company Profitable Channels, Darien, CT, based his findings on surveys of 75 CMOs at major companies in the fourth quarter of 2002.

One of the CMOs' major concerns, he said, was creating revenue growth and shareholder value with less money. They are doing this by "shifting more dollars into investments in data, direct marketing and direct-to-consumer promotions."

Other findings included the fact that organizations are focusing more on the timing of their direct and online campaigns.

"Organizations like Staples and Fidelity are telling me that they are more then doubling the performance of their marketing campaigns by zeroing in on the timing [of their campaigns] as opposed to the person," Diorio said.

When it came to CRM and database programs, the survey found that though CMOs want such programs to be easier to use, they acknowledge that they need to become smarter in how they use these programs.

"They didn't push it off on the technology vendors or the database marketing vendors," he said.

Meanwhile, the strengthening economy has led to a great deal of optimism on the show floor.

"We are learning strategy by attending the sessions, and getting a lot of information from vendors that we already do business with and from other vendors as well," said Sandy Bement, direct mail coordinator at Vita-Mix Corp., Cleveland.

This year, there are 48 vendors exhibiting at the show, versus 50 last year. In October, the Direct Marketing Association was forced to change the dates for the show because of a scheduling conflict.

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