Archive for September 2009

Can We Be Friends?

September 29, 2009

By Alex Marchetti

President DMA Atlanta

From early childhood throughout our entire adult life, we have craved to belong and have cherished friendships with others that share our interests, motivations, behaviors, preferences and values. We joined clubs, churches or political groups. We basically hung out with others who listened to the same music, drove the same kind of cars or dressed in similar fashions.

Things have not really changed. We still like to hang out with friends who share our interests and we continue to join groups at roller coaster speeds. However, today we use online and offline communication channels to meet, develop and nurture friendships. We use online social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email, blogs, texting, etc. as well as the more traditional channels like talking on your cell or actually socializing in person. Lots of choices create lots of challenges.

Today it’s all about more of what we like and less of what we dislike.  We know what we like, we know how and when we want to talk and most importantly, we can block anyone we don’t know, don’t like or don’t want as friends. We are in control.

As marketers, we must understand this newly acquired power, the control consumers now have and how important it is to create meaningful relationships with our customers. If you’re not a customer’s friend, sharing similar interests you will dramatically increase the risk of losing that customer. Treat each customer as you would your friends and  communicate with each of them at the right time, with the right message and through the right channel. Remember, your competitor is only a click away.

By the way, my Facebook analysis suggests that I have an 80% chance of marrying, will have 2 children, have a woefully below average friend level and 352 people will attend my funeral. Can we be friends?


DMA Atlanta Volunteer Close Up September – Sarah Hatch

September 28, 2009

By Jonathan Freed 
Hub Labels

Sarah Hatch

Sarah Hatch

Name: Sarah Hatch
Birthplace: Fort Wayne, Indiana

Occupation: Program Director at ExactTarget, a leading on-demand email marketing and one-to-one digital communication platform

Education: B.A. Indiana University

Sponsor Since: February 2008

What is the most helpful step(s) you took to advance your direct marketing career?

Being unafraid to ask the question ‘Do you have a role for someone like me at your organization?’ You never know unless you try.

Any advice you’d offer a novice who wants to move up in direct marketing?

Volunteer and get on a local board. It’s a great way to learn and network at the same time.

Professional Experience:

Program Director, ExactTarget@Home Depot; Senior Account Manager, South East Region, ExactTarget; Relationship Marketing Manager, Communique (Indianapolis-based interactive marketing agency); Account Manager, Kiva Networking (Southern Indiana ISP and Networking Consulting Co)

Volunteer Experience:

DMA Atlanta, BMA Indianapolis (Treasurer), Women’s Fund of Indianapolis, Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Association of Indianapolis (Publicity Coordinator)

DM Forecast for 2010:

While we’re seeing marketers shift some of their spend to less costly forms of marketing like interactive, one-to-one communications (email, etc.), we hope that in 2010 consumer confidence will increase and the testing and tracking gained from digital communications will continue to be a key component of their strategy.

Toughest Marketing Project:

I once managed a client during a transition from one software platform to another. This was exceedingly difficult because their program consisted of 18 daily emails and 24 weekly emails containing highly segmented, personalized content. These were both transactional and marketing messages and were sent on behalf of major brands and clients of theirs, so there could be no interruption to their service. When we cutover, I spent all weekend holed up in my client’s office testing and testing, making sure everything could go live the following week. They are still a client and continue to innovate and push the envelope with our software.

Favorite Restaurant:

Do I have to pick one? There are so many in Atlanta! Rathbun, Flip Burger, Serpas, Fellini’s, Wisteria, Horseradish Grill, Figo, Canoe, Nan, Home (RIP), Waffle House, Nava, Vinings Inn, Flying Biscuit, Across the Street, Harry & Sons

Favorite Websites:

Search engines, travel sites, Facebook, Ultimate Guitar, Twitter (does that count?)

Leisure Interests:

Travel, live music, yoga, dancing, dining out, being online, spending time with friends and family

Back to School Lessons for the Holidays

September 28, 2009

By Michael Kahn,

An August 14 New York Times story, “Retailers See Back-to-School Sales Slowing,” discusses a weak back to school season for retailers and how marketers resorted to discounts and aggressive promotions more than ever. It also offers important insights as marketers begin to focus their energies on the holidays.

Understanding not only what’s worked in past holiday seasons but learning lessons from this year’s back to school efforts will help retailers put their best foot forward come November.

Drastic Times, Counter Measures

Performics has surveyed consumers for four consecutive months as part of its 2009 Online Buyer Economic Trend Study, and consumer sentiment, especially among women, remains pessimistic.

In April, men and women were relatively in sync when it came to economic outlook, perceptions of their household financial situations and their overall/online spending plans. Exactly 53% of men and women stated that their current economic situation was worse than at the same time last year. In contrast, by July, women responded with continuing caution and pessimism with 54% stating their economic situation was worse than at the same time last year while men showed signs of increased optimism as a reduced 38% responded the same way.

Still, advertisers began to more aggressively motivate consumers to shop during the back to school season. Retailers, even brands not known for discounting, rolled out deep discounts and promotions across the board.

Macy’s, for example, used sales to drive customers into stores. According to the New York Times, one mother went shopping at Macy’s in response to a Shop It To Me e-mail alert deal she received that offered a $36 top for $9.75. Retailers like Macy’s have to weigh the pros and cons of deals like these to ensure they hit the right balance between sacrificing margins and motivating consumers.

Retail marketers can expect to see discounts and aggressive promotions saturating the market this year.

Head of the Class: Forecasting

This all adds up to the holiday planning process being more important than ever this year. Holiday planning should minimally include forecasting, merchandising and promotional plans and should address all parts of the conversion process, from awareness to consideration, preference and purchase.

Studying the recent back-to-school season can help forecast various factors such as cash flow and inventory optimization, “hot” holiday products, and types of offers that motivate consumers. Some useful questions to ask during any forecasting and planning session include:

  • How can we better secure our share of wallet?
  • Will our target consumers shop early in this economy or wait for sales?
  • How will discounts or sales affect our profit margins?
  • What discounts and promotions should we expect from competitors?
  • How should we structure our discounting plan?

Equal parts art and science, implementing a discounting strategy for the holidays can be challenging. Building an effective strategy requires understanding how target consumers will respond to discounts and determining how to best maximize sales without over-sacrificing on margins or volume. For marketers that opt to discount, some of the decisions to be made include:

  • How heavily to discount products
  • Which products to discount
  • How to time discounts to best maximize margins and volume

Michael Kahn ( is senior vice president of marketing at Performics and a monthly contributor to Chief Marketer.

Top 10 Ways to Measure a Social Media Campaign

September 28, 2009

By JamieTurner – 60 Second Marketer

Not long ago, eConsultancy developed a list of the top 10 things to measure in a social media campaign. It’s a brilliant list and we’d encourage those of you reading this to click through to the entire post on the eConsultancy site.

If you’re in a hurry and want the 60-second version, here’s a shortened list of the top 10 ways to measure a social media campaign:

  1. Traffic in the form of unique visitors and repeat visitors
  2. Interaction in the form of comments, ReTweets and participation
  3. Sales generated from a landing page linked to your campaign
  4. Leads generated from a form on your website
  5. Search marketing as measured by social bookmarking sites such as Digg and Delicious
  6. Brand metrics as measured by social media affinity tools
  7. Public relations tied directly to your social media efforts
  8. Customer engagement in the form of online and offline involvement with your brand
  9. Customer retention as measure by your churn rate
  10. Profits as measured by your P&L

The bottom line: Social media is measurable and has proven to be a valuable tool for marketers around the globe. If you’re a marketer and you’re interested in proving the value of your next social media campaign, then the tools outlined above are for you.


DMA Atlanta- Sept. 17th Luncheon-Direct Marketing-A 2 ft view from the USPS

September 11, 2009

Direct Marketing-A 2 ft. view from the USPS

Thursday, Sept.17th, 2009