Archive for April 2010

DMA Atlanta Luncheon May 20th | CRM 2.0- Developing Customer Strategies as a Business Strategy

April 30, 2010


CRM 2.0- Developing customer strategies as a business strategy.
David Williams will discuss how organizations have evolved to put the customer at the center of their business strategy. He will discuss the importance of developing customer “currencies” to allow the organization to do true “Integrated Customer marketing” that maximizes the value of the customer portfolio.
South Star Award Winners Announced prior to presentation!


David Williams, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer.
David Williams is President and Chief Executive Officer of Merkle Inc. He was 25 years old in 1988 when he purchased the company then known as Merkle Computer Systems, Inc. and became its 24th employee. Today, Merkle has more than 1000 employees in locations throughout the United States and is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing database marketing agencies.

Under David’s leadership, Merkle has sustained 25% annual growth since 1989 and was recognized as a market leader by Forrester Research in 2003, 2006 and 2007. Advertising Age ranked Merkle as the 15th largest marketing services agency in the U.S. and eighth largest marketing services agency specializing in direct marketing. David was recognized by Winning Workplaces and Fortune Magazine as one of America’s Best Bosses of 2006, and was the 2007 Maryland Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

An active member of the direct and database marketing community, David currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Direct Marketing Association and is a member of the Executive Committee. David is a frequent speaker at industry events and has written numerous articles and white papers about topics such as best-in-class database marketing strategies, customer management, and marketing technology infrastructure. He began his career at Butcher & Singer, a Philadelphia-based investment bank, and holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.

To register:
Thursday, May 20th 2010
Maggiano’s Perimeter – 4400 Ashford Dunwoody Road
Atlanta, GA 3034


“Some wonder, some watch and some make it happen”

April 29, 2010

by Alex Marchetti|President Whitestone Marketing|President DMA Atlanta

Some wonder, some watch and some make it happen” words made famous by Tommy Lasorda. Whether you remember Tommy from his baseball playing days, his managerial triumphs (2 World Series championships), Slim Fast commercials or follow him on Facebook, his fiery Mediterranean temperament and outrageous tirades made things happen. He was never satisfied with the status quo and continually demanded exceptional performance from himself and everyone who associated with him.

Imagine for a moment that Mr. Lasorda is a contemporary marketing executive and responsible for the sustainable growth and profitability your company. Wow! Social media, direct mail, email campaigns, interactive, creative and a host of other marketing strategies would be quickly evaluated and tested for appropriateness and their ability to achieve results. Under Tommy’s direction your company would aggressively explore new strategies and tactics that would enhance customer experiences and promotes the customer lifetime value philosophy.

Tommy was a special kind of person capable of blazing new trails and driven to beat the competition. Today’s challenging business environment coupled with the intense pressures of global competition, we need to be the ones that make it happen. We must be thought leaders, creators, innovators, and agents for change. Watching will leave us behind wondering what happened.

2010 South Star Awards Finalists Announced

April 27, 2010

DMA Atlanta is pleased to announce the 2010 South Star Awards Finalists.  More than 17 entries were honored across 10 categories.

Winners will be announced at the DMA Atlanta May 20th luncheon at Maggiano’s Perimeter from 11:00- 1:30 p.m. Join DMA Atlanta as we honor the Southeast’s most talented direct marketers who have the best direct and interactive campaigns.

The South Star Awards are given to campaigns that have the power to change business.  Each winner will have proven to the judges the perfect combinations of visionary strategy, compelling creative and breakthrough results.  Winners will automatically qualify for the second round of judging in the DMA International ECHO Awards.

Direct Mail

Medieval Times –Direct Mail B-B-order generation-Take a Field trip to the 11th Century

MLT Creative-BioGuard- Direct Mail B-B-Multi-Wave Dealer Awareness Campaign

Red House-McKesson-Direct Mail Traffic Generation-Clinical Procedure Resource Solutions Mailer

DataDirect– Georgia Lottery Corp- Direct Mail –Consumer-Deal or No Deal

BKV-Honeybaked Ham- Consumer-Order Generation-Christmas Mailing

Integrated Campaign-

Medieval Times– Integrated Consumer-All for One and One Price for All

BKV-Integrated Consumer-Equifax Debt Wise Product Launch

UPS– Integrated B-B-No stress with UPS sweepstakes

BKV– Integrated B-B-Business of Law Blog Acquisition

MLT Creative-Integrated B-B-Forte Integrated Campaign

Red House-Integrated B-B-MSP Recruiting Campaign

Electronic –

IBM-Electronic- Website B-B-IT Superstar of the Year

BKV– Electronic B-C Website-The Mesothelioma Resource Center Re-design.

Integrative Logic– Website

BKV-Electronic Website Consumer-AT & T Core Paid Search Landing Page Test

BKV-Electronic B-C SEM-Mesothelioma SEM

BrightWave Marketing-Email Campaign-Consumer-Chick-fil-A Enhanced Email PRogram Drives Sales, Social Engagement & Subscriber Loyalty in 2009

Organization for Marketing Today

April 26, 2010

by Chad Mitchell, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research

I had the pleasure of participating in two CMO group discussions on marketing organizational structures in the past week. The DMA Atlanta focused on a recent Harvard Business Review article entitled “Rethinking Marketing For Tomorrow.” The article suggests that value-based customer and brand management requires a reinvention of the marketing organizational structure. It’s the common debate around product and brand-centric organizations versus customer-centric.

In addition, I facilitated the CMO group at Forrester’s Marketing Forum today on “Organizing For Social Media.” In February and March, I conducted 10 interviews with senior marketers including Best Buy, IBM, Louis Vuitton, and others about their current organizational design for social media. The CMO group discussed the challenges and best practices in organizing for social media.

The goods news…

  • Everyone has an opinion – organizational structure is a hot topic and deserves more attention.
  • There’s no wrong answer – whatever organizational design allows you to serve your customers and grow the business is right for you – the trick is finding what’s right when new trends appear.
  • There are many good examples – search the Web and you will find dozens of blog postings on the “best org design for customer-centricity and social media” – our cases show that CMOs must: 1) energize the enterprise (collaborate with IT, eBusiness, PR) because you can’t do everyone on your own, 2) lead an executive cross-functional steering committee to remove hurdles and get cultural buy-in, and 3) develop a “living lab” mentality – there will be another reorg shortly and the only thing constant is change – be prepared to adapt and reorganize as new technology and consumer behavior changes.

The bad news…

  • Everyone has an opinion – see above…consensus is difficult. Marketing is the right place to lead customer-centric and social media efforts (our data shows that 52% of social media groups reside within marketing). Don’t be afraid to lead.
  • Change doesn’t guarantee success – just because you reorganize doesn’t mean you will become customer-centric or create an effective social media presence. You need the right culture, incentives, controls and personnel in order to execute on both issues.

We are focusing more and more research on creating adaptive marketing organizations that can stay ahead of changing consumer and technology trends. I look forward to hearing your opinions on what is working and not working in the market place.

What do you think?

How do we segment customers for maximizing a firm’s future profits?

April 23, 2010

by V. Kumar* | Georgia State University

The Wheel of Fortune Strategy@ identifies a dozen ways to maximize CLV where a firm can choose any one or more of the suggested strategies at any given time and realize the benefits of improving the bottom-line. This column describes the segmentation strategies that a firm can adopt using the CLV metric.

Firms need to manage the loyalty and profitability of their customers simultaneously. Typically, managers segmented customers based on their loyalty (e.g., short or long term/tenure) to the firm. We suggest that customers be segmented based on their loyalty as well as their profitability potential (e.g., low or high). High-profitability, short-term customers are termed as “BUTTERFLIES” to the firm. A firm needs to market to these accounts only as long as they are active, and cease investing in them when they no longer contribute to firm’s profits. “STRANGERS” are the firm’s low-profitability, short-term customers. The firm should make no investment in these relationships, and try to make profits on every transaction. High-profitability, long-term customers are a firm’s “TRUE-FRIENDS”. The firm needs to build both attitudinal and behavioral loyalty among these customers, communicate consistently but not too often with them and delight these customers to nurture, defend, and retain them. “BARNACLES” are the firm’s low-profitability, long –term customers who consume higher proportion of the marketing resources. To justify the spending on these customers, firms need to measure both their size and share of wallet. If share of wallet is low, firms need to focus on up- and cross-selling. However, if the size of wallet is small, firms need to impose strict cost control, or get rid of them.

In the next column, we will focus on resource allocation strategies to customers in each of these segments.

*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, GA.

@ Managing Customers For Profit (Wharton School Publishing) –  V. Kumar

What’s so great about ALT-tags?

April 23, 2010

by Allen Nance, Mansell Group

ALT-tags are a hot topic in the email marketing world right now as e-mailers strive to engage recipients despite the over-abundance of emails crowding the inbox. Images are an important part of appealing to your reader and piquing their interest, but what happens if your readers can’t see any of those great images?

 There are several reasons why recipients may not be seeing your images: some choose not to load graphics, others may be using mobile devices, and there are those on dial-up who may be looking at your email for several seconds waiting for the images to load.

These recipients are left with a big blank page full of red X’s which can reflect poorly on your brand and alienate your customers. Enter the beauty of the ALT-tag. An ALT-tag is basically the alternative text that is displayed when images are not. Most often, this happens in email clients that automatically block images. With over 60% of email users blocking images from automatically displaying, ALT-tags definitely have a place in today’s email world.

ALT-tags allow you to add descriptive text to your emails so readers know what they are supposed to be seeing, even when their images are turned off. You can engage and interest your readers, without having to rely on images. Use ALT-tags to describe a picture, state a call to action, or promote a headline.

So how do you best use ALT-tags in your messages? Some helpful hints are that ALT-tags should not be more than 50 characters and should not include special characters. If an image contains special text, simply use the text that is represented within the image. And remember, be creative, I’ve seen some ALT-tags that say, “By blocking this image, you can’t see that you are missing out on a great deal.”

As great as ALT-tags are, they do have some limitations with certain email clients. For example, Outlook 2003 and 2007 add a long security message before the ALT-tag text to explain why the image is not displayed—thus rendering your ALT-tag almost useless unless the image is large enough so that readers will still see some ALT-tag text after the security message.

Bottom line, ALT-tags are a great tool that should be employed in your email communications. However, you should still try to use as much real text as possible to ensure optimum reader engagement.

Multicultural Leadership Community | TOP 10 Reasons to Better Serve and Woo the Booming Hispanic Market

April 21, 2010

by Roberto Gomez Jr.* | Vertis Communications

1 – Hispanics represent a rapidly growing, yet underserved, consumer market.

2 – Amidst a sluggish economy, Hispanics exhibit increasing affluence and sustainable growth in purchasing power.

3 – The Hispanic market skews young, indicating a tremendous opportunity to win customers at their peak of consumption and secure customers for life.

4 – Hispanics are pouring online at a rapid pace.

5 – Hispanics tend to be brand-loyal, indicating tremendous potential lifetime customer value.

6 – Hispanics value and refer those companies that provide Spanish service.

7 – Hispanics are cultural influencers with increasing trendsetting power.

8 – Near shore outsourcing is an attractive option for serving U.S. Hispanics.

9 – Smart companies are already wooing Hispanics.

10 – Hispanics are the market of the future—continued under-service of Hispanics will relegate your company to sluggish sales and low returns.

*Roberto Gomez Jr. works at Vertis Communications ( He is the chairmen of the Multicultural Leadership Group for the DMA-Atlanta.