Simmons Summit Speakers Highlight CRM, Women

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NEW YORK -- Customer relationship management is almost an oxymoron these days, said Deb Zuccarini, president of Experian Marketing Services. The statement was part of her opening remarks at the Simmons Future of Information Summit yesterday at the New York Athletic Club.

"There have been shifts in consumer attitudes about advertising," she said. "Customers are managing their own relationships with businesses, and businesses need to evolve based on trends."

The event was the seventh annual conference by Simmons Market Research Bureau -- which provides research through its national survey of consumers and marketing solutions -- but the first since Experian acquired the firm in October.

She also said a challenge for marketers in the new environment is to create single customer definitions to meet the higher expectations of consumers. This includes knowing their preferences and why, how and when they respond.

In a luncheon keynote address, Grant J. Schneider, vice president, brand development and strategy for the Time Inc. Women's Group, talked about "Understanding Today's Woman: 7 New Rules of the Road," which is also the title of his new book.

Some titles in the Women's Group are People, In Style, Real Simple, Cooking Light, Health, Parenting, BabyTalk, Essence, Healthy Pregnancy, All You, Cottage Living, Suede and People en Espanol. Time Inc. magazines reach more than 45 million women.

According to Schneider, the following are the seven top issues in women's lives today: balance; time; optimism; trust; personal expression; control; and community/connection.

Understanding the hurdles and rewards that women face today is key to marketing to them, Schneider said. Messages should be "easily understood, actionable and authentic," he added.

Kristen Bremner covers list news, insert media, privacy and fundraising for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting


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