CMA Conference Looks at Role of Technology

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TORONTO - The Canadian Marketing Association will hold its annual industry Conference April 25 to 27 at the Metro Toronto Convention Center under the motto of "Technology and Relationships: Bridging the Gap."

The National Convention and Trade Show will focus on current topics in integrated marketing, e-business, branding, loyalty and relationship marketing.

Seth Godin, author, former vice president of Yahoo and now president of Do You Zoom Inc., will be among the keynote speakers at the event.

Godin will explain his ideas about how marketers can use permission marketing to break through the ad clutter, build market share and develop positive customer relationships. Using real-life examples, he will demonstrate how marketers can persuade customers to voluntarily pay attention to advertising messages.

Also speaking at the event are Robert Barnard, founder of d-Code, a Toronto-based Internet ad agency, and co-author of "Chips & Pop: Decoding the Nexus Generation;" Stephen Bartkiw, chief executive officer of AOL Canada Inc.; and Judith Donovan, chairman of UK-based Judith Donovan Associates.

In addition, the convention will feature 25 concurrent sessions devoted to a wide range of marketing concepts.

Major sessions include the following:

• Bridging the Gap between Online and Offline Markets. Frank Pirri of will explain how best to integrate online and offline marketing strategies and to take advantage of the Internet's rapid growth.

• A Direct Bank with a (Lemon) Twist. Katherine Dimopoulos of President's Choice Financial will talk about her company's two-pronged marketing program for acquiring customers and turning them into advocates for the bank.

• Analytics - The Foundation for Leading-Edge CRM. Royal Bank's Gaetane Lefebvre will talk about how the bank was able to identify more than 20,000 customer segments using basic customer profitability and advanced decision analytics.

• Warning: Internet Solutions Can Block Your View of the Customer. Susan North and Jon Zimmerman of Exchange Applicants and will talk about processes and technology able to take precise communications across multiple channels while optimizing customer relationships.

• Measuring Online Advertising ROI. Chris Larsen of Gallop & Gallop Advertising will demonstrate how to evaluate consumer behavior as it relates to online advertising and consumer use of Web sites, analyze ad campaign effectiveness and calculate acquisition costs, conversion and advertising ROI.

• Unlocking the Secrets Lurking in Your Customer File. Alan Weber of DataPlus Millennium LLC will probe secrets found in almost every marketing database and how to use them to create a marketing and communication strategy that gets results.

The seminars will include five sessions aimed at senior executives with a focus on strategic thinking and concepts, rather than tactical applications.

Speakers at the executive-track sessions include Ted Boyd, president of Indigo Online; Mark Hayes, associate partner, Andersen Consulting, and Graham Lute, senior vice-president, Nestle Canada Inc.

The CMA is the largest marketing association in Canada. Its 790 members are responsible for more than $13.5 billion in annual sales through information-based marketing channels.
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