Never too late to embrace new media

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David Rosen is the SVP of Loyalty Lab. He will be attending The DMA show in Chicago this year, speaking on a variety of topics, including Acquisition/Retention and Loyalty Marketing. He recently spoke with Lauren Bell about his predictions for the show.

Q. What are some of the themes you hope will emerge at the show?

I know the DMA show still struggles with the difference between new media and old media. I hope there's a noticeable shift this year. The DMA has tried over the past couple of years to more embrace new media. Maybe this year they'll [really start] catching up. The DMA is still very much grounded in direct mail, and what would be interesting to see is if the DMA can embrace new media. At the same time, new media has moved on - Web 2.0 is really dominant now.

Q. What would be a sign of them "catching up?"

It would be great if in the display hall you had companies that represented new media, and if there were Web 2.0 companies embracing the DMA and not bypassing them and going straight to other shows such as Shop.org.

Q. How do you see the focus on traditional marketing channels at the DMA show changing in the near future?

We're a company that's very much a direct marketing company. Our clients, and there's 50 or 60 of them, certainly see the value in direct marketing but want to be involved in other things now. They want to be on Facebook, and they want to be viral and have forums.

Why isn't that at DMA? Where is Facebook? Do they even look at DMA as being a relevant venue? You'd have to say no, but you have to ask why. In 10 years, what is going to be the relevance of the DMA if they're not embracing these things - Facebook, MySpace, Flickr - whatever media the users will be interested in 10 years? How excited do you get about the Lillian Vernon catalogs in your mail every month? But how excited do you get about going on to Facebook and reading the news feed and seeing what all your friends are up to? And what about text messages and e-mails? Would you rather have a great cell phone or a great mailbox?

Q. What steps do you think the DMA should be taking to accomplish this integration?

The work that the Interactive Marketing Advisory Board, that's led by [ReturnPath CEO] Matt Blumberg, is doing is [the key] way it's going to happen. I think that last year there was an exhibit hall for new media - I would hope that is maintained.

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