DMA's new VP of research looks to emerging tech

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The Direct Marketing Association has appointed Edward T. Manzitti vice president of research. Manzitti previously served as director of primary research at The NPD Group, where he supported the syndicated and custom information products offered by the company's wireless division.

In his new role, he replaces Peter A. Johnson, who returns to an active primary research role as research strategy and platforms vice president.

"I oversee development of research projects sold and designed, including methodology and data reporting," Manzitti explained. "We have a team of six research managers who lead individual projects.

"One of the biggest [projects] is the DMA Fact Book, which provides a great source of direct marketing benchmarking,"   he continued. "It sizes businesses in terms of employees and advertising expenditures."

The DMA Statistical Fact Book draws information from more than 60 research sources and is updated every year. In its 29th edition the book provides access to direct marketing data for industry decision-makers covering a range of topics from direct mail to telemarketing, print and production, television and home shopping and interactive media.

Manzitti was chosen for the position due in large part to his previous experience at NPD, and his vision of researching new technologies, specifically wireless, as they relate to direct marketing.

"Wireless carriers can provide advertising to handsets in the form of showing ads to internet browsers, and there is potential revenue there for carriers. It is a new and exciting channel for companies that want to market to both consumers and businesses," he continued.

Although the position he is filling existed before, Manzitti said he wants to approach it as if it were newly created.

"This position is about exploring existing ways of delivering direct marketing as well as new technologies. I was selected for my background in high-tech, especially wireless," he said. "The person [Johnson] who was in it before was an economist and will continue working with government affairs group in DMA."

Manzitti and Johnson will work together not only on researching emerging marketing technologies, but also on such ongoing DMA initiatives as consumer protection and privacy issues.

Manzitti advises anyone entering direct marketing to heed the emergence of new technologies as viable channels of both the immediate as well as long-term future of the industry.

"There is so little use of wireless now as opposed to traditional direct marketing, but the potential is tremendous. Our research will focus on potential opportunities and, in the long term, sizing those opportunities," Manzitti said.

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