Mackay Offers DMers Tips in Time of Rapid Change

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NEW YORK -- "Direct marketing as you all know it now has come of age," said Harvey Mackay, chairman of Mackay Envelope Co., in his keynote address yesterday at the Direct Marketing Association's DM Days New York 2005 Conference & Expo at the Javits Center.


In all industries, Mackay said, more changes have occurred in the past five years than in the previous 15 to 20. He noted the Internet's growth -- to 50 million users in five years -- as an example, calling it "the most powerful force in the world today."


Mackay cited a Pitney Bowes study that found households with Internet access receive twice as much mail as those without.


"Direct mail is a growth industry," Mackay said. But he acknowledged that customers are more knowledgeable, intelligent and demanding than ever.


Mackay offered a few tips he has learned during his years as the head of his envelope company and as a New York Times best-selling author of several books on business.


"Some of the best people spend a lot of time looking out the window," he said, as they are thinking and that process should not be stifled. Mackay stressed creative thinking as a key to success.


"People don't care how much you know about them once they realize how much you care about them," he said.


His firm has a 66-question customer profile that includes personal interests that it asks clients to fill out. The final question asks, "Does your competition have more and better answers than you?"


The goal of the questions is to build better long-term relationships with customers, Mackay said. He told attendees to "humanize your selling strategy."


Other ideas and tips he offered:


· Believe in yourself even when no one else does.


· Things are not necessarily how we perceive them to be.


· Plan.


· It isn't the people you fire who make your life miserable; it's the people you don't fire.


Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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