I enjoyed Ruth Stevens' piece”Why Some Hires Are Great and Others Aren't: The DM Personality” The question of just how unique we are comes up often.
I have been doing direct marketing now for more than 15 years and up until 3 1/2 years ago, I had always been with a staff of like-oriented colleagues — at Smithsonian, at the National Wildlife Federation and at Time Life, where there were DM departments. We truly had a good time teaming together, challenging each other, supporting each other — and we felt “we got it” while others did not when it came to producing the best DM program results. You know that everybody has a “professional” opinion about how direct marketing should be done, simply because they are personal recipients of direct marketing!
Now I am with a foundation of 33 people and I am the only one doing direct marketing, and that difference in personality is even more palpable. I live by our numbers, care passionately about our database, love the creativity of coming up with ideas and test strategies, pretty much don't like the production/creative process but am a pain in the neck about getting that just right and love the thrill of watching returns coming in to meet or beat projections, or even to prove an idea wrong. It's a great game, the stakes are very high, but we have the best mission in the world so the motivation never dies.
Thanks for a fun, insightful piece.
• Anne Carman
Director, direct marketing
Children's Hospital Foundation
Children's National Medical Center
DMer Finds Steven's Story On the Mark
I have been in the industry approximately 11 years and at all levels, the latest as general manager of data processing services at infoUSA until the round of layoffs this past December. I found Ruth Stevens' article on the DM personality very poignant.
I am job hunting within the industry currently and in my search I can tell if the individual I am speaking with really gets what direct marketing is all about and if they know the makeup of an individual who can succeed in the industry.
The list she compiled regarding the DM personality is great. There are a lot of different types of individuals within the DM industry, but she mentioned many of the characteristics they must have to truly excel.
Keep up the good work.