Archive for December 2009

Combining Digital and Print Media to Reach Audiences

December 29, 2009


By Allen Nance, Mansell Group, Inc.

Did you know that over 75% of marketers are combining digital media with the more traditional direct mail marketing? One way to get on board with these cross media campaigns is to use a personalized URL (PURL.)  PURLs have been in the marketing realm for quite some time now as an effective way to bridge online and print mediums and provide a more engaging experience for the end user. In the direct mail world, marketers using PURLs have reported response rates of up to 5% as compared to traditional direct mail marketing response rates of 2-3%. 

The idea behind PURLs is simple. In its most common form, the PURL is added to a direct mail piece. For example, I might receive a marketing postcard from a company inviting me to visit Once there, I would see a personalized web page that is tailored specifically to my interests and needs—based on data that the company has about me. As I navigate through the site, my actions are fed back into a database, which the marketer can then use to send even more personalized messages. Data can be fed back to a mobile device in real time, allowing you to contact customers at just the right time.

This data exchange and usage is extremely important in today’s marketing landscape, as consumers are much more likely to take action when the message is customized, relevant and timely.  That being said, using PURLs without having the consumer data to back them up is practically pointless.

 As marketers and consumers become more and more savvy with online marketing, PURLs are also being deployed through email communications. The same method is used as in the direct mail PURL, but the online deployment allows for even more tracking. You are able to see if the recipient received and opened the email, whereas direct mail does not allow you to easily confirm if the piece was delivered and read by the recipient, or just tossed in the trash can.

As with any marketing tool, the key to success with PURLs is using them in a way that is most effective and relevant for your particular audience. When starting a PURL campaign, there are several best practices that can greatly improve effectiveness.

Don’t forget about strategy. As with any other marketing campaign, PURLs still require strategic development. You must decide how to segment the audiences and what level of personalization is best suited for this campaign. An engaging and well thought out message is still the cornerstone of any marketing endeavor.

Don’t go too Big Brother. While consumers like seeing customized messages, there is a fine line between showing them that you are in tune with their needs and being a little too informed.  If you have a lot of personalized data for your audiences, don’t use it all in the same piece. Be smart about what personalized data to use and when to use it.

Follow up accordingly. When someone responds online to your PURL campaign, be sure to follow up with them. Knowing when and how your audiences respond is of no use unless you do something with that information.

As consumers become more and more inundated with marketing messages, it is increasingly important to reach them across various mediums, and with relevant and personalized messages.  PURLs are a great tool to do just that and, coupled with tracking and reporting capabilities, will lead to increased marketing success.




Why do you need to measure a customer’s value to the firm?

December 29, 2009

Insights from VK*

By V Kumar, Ph.D.

Businesses need every possible competitive advantage when the economy has taken a nosedive. Utilizing the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) measurement has provided that advantage to many companies, from giants such as IBM and an upscale global fashion retailer to a many smaller firms across the globe.

CLV is a formula that helps a marketing manager arrives at a dollar value that is associated with the long term relationship with any customer.  In other words, CLV reveals how much a customer relationship is worth over a period of time. It differs from other metrics in that it is a forward-looking measurement of a customer’s performance and takes into consideration all the elements of revenue, cost and purchase behavior that drive profitability. CLV helps marketers adopt the right marketing activities today so that they can increase profitability tomorrow. Those who have been the best customers are not rewarded — those who will be the best customers in the near future are rewarded. None of the other well-known customer performance measurements is as all-encompassing as the CLV metric.

For example, the Share of Wallet (SOW) metric represents the spending that a business obtains from a customer in products and services in relation to the total spending in that category. The past profit metric assumes that the past spending behavior of the customer will continue in the future. This is not always the case. The Recency, Frequency and Monetary Value (RFM) metric, which measures the number of days/weeks/months since the last transaction occurred. It also measures how much the customer has contributed towards revenues in the past and how frequently this customer has been buying from that firm. However, none of the above three metrics reveal any information about whether or not a customer is loyal, when a customer is likely to buy next, or how much profit a customer is likely to give. CLV overcomes these three issues by incorporating the probability of a customer being active in the future and the marketing dollars that need to be spent to retain a customer profitably.

*V. Kumar (VK) is the Richard and Susan Lenny Distinguished Chair Professor in Marketing, Executive Director of the Center for Excellence in Brand & Customer Management, and the Director of the Ph.D. program, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia.

DMA Atlanta Volunteer Close Up January 2010-Michael Means

December 29, 2009

By Jonathan Freed, Hub Labels

By Jonathan Freed, Hub Labels

Name: Michael Means

Birthplace: Atlanta, GA

Family: Dog named Roxy

Occupation: Business Development Manager – Mansell Group

Education: Bachelor of Science from the University of Mississippi

Member Since: May 2009

What is the most helpful step(s) you took to advance your direct marketing career?  Building a strong network of contacts was essential.  I used social networking sites such as Linkedin and Facebook which helped reconnect with me with old colleagues, classmates, clients, and opened the door to professionals who I’d like to associate with.  Also, I try to take time each day to research my competition, read the latest white papers and articles which are relative to all marketing channels – knowledge is power.

Any advice you’d offer a novice who wants to move up in direct marketing? Yes, I would recommend writing down ten goals that you know you can achieve within the year and then write down five goals that you would like to reach but they are a stretch.  Then post those goals on your computer or by your phone so that you’ll be reminded each day of what you’re trying to achieve.  Secondly, I would attend as many networking events as possible but don’t sell yourself short at these events – you need to stand out, ask questions, be assertive and introduce yourself to as many people as possible while having a smile on your face.  

 Professional Experience: My first job out of college was a bar manager at the Pool Hall in Buckhead.  I then worked at the Ritz Carlton in Buckhead as an Assistant Manager for a year.  After realizing the hospitality industry wasn’t for me, I worked in advertising sales for a national commercial real estate publication here in Atlanta. Four years of grinding it out in ad sales paved my way to Business Development at the Mansell Group, which happened to be one floor down in the same building.  I’m now enjoying work more than ever selling technology enabled marketing. 

 Volunteer Experience: Habitat for Humanity through Christ the King Church, Operation Care Package for soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq.

 DM Forecast for 2010: After experiencing a challenging 2009, marketers seem to be upbeat about the economy recovering in 2010 and are planning to push more of their budgets online, especially into search advertising, social media, email, display ads and media TV style ads.

 Toughest Marketing Project: Toughest marketing project would be the first time I packaged a digital multi-channel project for a client that had to be completed in a very short time frame – three weeks.  This multi-channel marketing effort consisted of email marketing, social networking, SMS/text messaging and building a custom landing page where the clients’ customers could select how they would like to be contacted.  The project was finished by the deadline and turned out to be a total success. 

 Favorite Restaurant: Hal’s

Favorite Films: Hurt Locker, The GodFather, Caddy Shack, Predator, Forest Gump and Revenge of the Nerds

Significant Books: Your Perfert Right, Bargaining Power, The Truth about Email Marketing

Favorite Musical Groups: Linkin Park, RadioHead, U2, Coldplay, Bob Marley

Favorite Websites:,,,,, and

Leisure Interests: Mountain Biking, Dog Training, Hiking, Golf, Tennis, Camping and Fishing