DM Days and Directo Day attendance highlight DM's evolution

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We last ran a list of exhibitors and booth numbers for a major show in the October 15, 2007 issue, for DMA07. Attendees thanked us; non-attendees were largely quiet on the matter, apart from the three separate people who informed us that it was less useful without the companies' Web addresses. I saw their point — when you're at one of these megashows, you could be forgiven for thinking that everyone in the industry is there and able to take care of their service needs and blue-sky conversations in one fell swoop. But each business card-dispensing (and collecting) attendee makes up just the tiniest percentage of this huge, global industry, and such events are often more punctuation to a far longer-term relationship.

So, long story short, our improved listings for DM Days can be found on pages 36-42 this week, along with some highlights from the schedule. But one thing we didn't include in the lineup was mention of this year's inaugural Directo Day, on Thursday June 12. The Direct Marketing Association is rightly devoting a number of sessions to the art of marketing to US Hispanics, whose spending power is estimated at $1 trillion. With market­ers spending an estimated $3.9 billion in these efforts, getting it wrong is costly — yet proper targeting is extremely complicated and highly nuanced. The rewards are indeed harder to reap, but when they come, a loyal consumer tends to bring more people with them than in the general market.

The beauty of direct marketing is the amount of information marketers can access to maximize relevance to a truly tricky set of demographics. But gut — and great creative — needs to play a part too. Hopefully the DMA's sessions will help people look beyond the numbers at this huge market, and spark some ideas to, in the words of one session's title, find strategies for a “new decade” of Hispanic marketing.

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