Archive for May 2010

Who’s Spinning Your Marketing Data?

May 27, 2010

By Alex Marchetti | President DMA Atlanta | President Whitestone Marketing

 Response Rates and Conversion Rates represent two of the direct marketers and professional communicators most revered data metrics and are largely considered the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for measuring successful marketing campaigns. The shear velocity of the digital revolution coupled with advanced digital tracking technologies has armed marketers with powerful data they can use to measure campaign effectiveness and provide some basis for calculating ROI or justify marketing spends.

Clearly we have more verifiable activity based marketing data available to us today than we did as little as five years ago. But do we really know what it means or how to use it effectively?

 Unfortunately, I believe a good number of marketers have become statistical spin doctors using Response Rates, Conversion Rates, marketing data, surveys and analytics to either persuade prospective clients into contractual agreements or positively support the amazing performance of the campaigns they have implemented. Strategically, this approach is similar to the CFO’s of publically traded corporations preparing financials for Wall Street to influence stock prices.

As marketers and communicators, shouldn’t we focus our attention on what influenced consumer behavior and caused the response or no response? I don’t have a PHD in behavioral science, but I am a practicing consumer and have been included in many marketers’ efforts to increase client response rates, conversion rates, SEO, opt-ins, click through and the like. And from my personal perspective, the data collection process and corresponding analytics do not represent what influenced my behavior.

Let me explain. Like most men, I am an avid researcher and buyer of gadgets, audio equipment, autos and new technologies. On the other hand my wife is an avid researcher and buyer of most anything as long as it is of high quality. We represent different and distinct consumer segments and clearly our behavior is influenced differently. Yet neither of us responds to surveys, telemarketing, email solicitation or spend little or no time on social media sites. Consequently, little meaningful data is ever collected on what influences our purchases or searches. Even more disturbing, little consideration is given as to why we have not opted-in.

Are we, as well as other important consumer segments inadvertently left out of important response data or analytics? Even more importantly, will our collective absences provide a basis for a new strategic marketing direction or product redevelopment? In some instances, it will depend upon who spins the data and how it is spun.

Dr. Aubrey Daniels, a world renowned behaviorists and personal friend of mine have discussed this very issue at length. We agreed that some of the most critical information needed to predict behavior, reinforcing behavior and building customer loyalty is held by the people who do not respond.

Unfortunately, in most cases, the first step in data analytics is to discard records of those who did not respond and focus on those who did respond.  Why? Simple – it’s easier. Most marketers and communicators don’t understand what influences behavior nor do they understand how to influence the non-responders into becoming responders.  They are not behaviorists nor are they qualified to evaluate marketing data in this context.

As professional marketers and communicators, I believe we not only have a responsibility to generate high performance marketing campaigns, but we also have a responsibility to understand what influences one’s behavior and compels them to respond or not respond.  If we don’t, it will be extremely difficult for us to sustain the amazing Response Rates and Conversion Rates.

I’ve known Dr. Daniels for quite some time and can assure you that the science of behavior is complex and requires a good bit of formal education and experience before it can be effectively applied.  It is however, a critical aspect of effective data analytics and cannot be overlooked. Know what you don’t know and team up with a behaviorist to optimize long term marketing results for your customers.







DMA Atlanta Luncheon June 17th | Subscribers, Fans & Followers: Optimizing for Digital Direct Marketing Channels

May 25, 2010


Subscribers, Fans & Followers: Optimizing for Digital Direct Marketing Channels.
From Email to Facebook to Twitter, it has never been more important for marketers to establish direct relationships with consumers. In this session, we’ll share research on how the rules of one-to-one marketing vary by channel, and how you can learn from the successes (and mistakes) of others as you look to develop profitable consumer relationships.


Join: Jeff Rohrs
VP Marketing Research & Education

To register:
Thursday, June 17th 2010
Maggiano’s Perimeter – 4400 Ashford Dunwoody Road
Atlanta, GA 3034

More information –  Registration

About the Speaker: Jeff Rohrs

As Vice President of Marketing for ExactTarget, the leading provider of on-demand software for permission-based email, mobile, social media marketing, Jeff spearheads ExactTarget’s research and thought-leadership initiatives.  A driving force behind the company’s SUBSCRIBERS RULE! philosophy and “Email Plus” vision, Jeff is a passionate advocate for consumer-first marketing principles.  For the past few years, Jeff has programmed ExactTarget’s Connections User Conference, and he has spoken at a wide variety of industry events including Argyle’s CMO Leadership Forum, The CMO Club, ad:tech, the eec’s Email Evolution Conference, MarketingSherpa’s Email Summit, MediaPost’s Email Insider Summit, Search Engine Strategies, and SMX. 

Prior to joining ExactTarget, Jeff was President and Chief Interactive Strategist for Optiem, a digital marketing agency based in Cleveland, Ohio.  Jeff has also served as a National Applications Consultant for LexisNexis and as an attorney with Baker & Hostelter.  Jeff received his J.D. and Masters in Mass Communication from Boston University, and he holds his B.S. in Mass Communications from Miami University where he currently serves on the Advisory Board for the school’s Armstrong Center for Interactive Media StudiesFrom Email to Facebook to Twitter, it has never been more important for marketers to establish direct relationships with consumers. In this session, we’ll share research on how the rules of one-to-one marketing vary by channel, and how you can learn from the successes (and mistakes) of others as you look to develop profitable consumer relationships.

2010 South Star Awards | Winners

May 24, 2010

2010 South Star Awards | Winners DMA Atlanta is pleased to announce the 2010 South Star Awards Winners.

More than 17 entries were honored as finalists across 10 categories.

The 2010 South Star Awards Winners are:

Direct Mail B-B

Katrina Stroup, Medieval Times Direct

Mail Traffic

Erwin Grigorian, Generation Red House

Direct Mail-Consumer

Gary Halperin, DataDirect

Integrated Consumer

Lise Ballay, BKV

Integrated B-B

Vann Morris, MLT Creative

Electronic Website B-B

Pam Evans, IBM

Electronic Website B-C

Susan Wietsma, BKV

Electronic Website Consumer

Susan Wietsma, BKV

Electronic B-C SEM


Email Campaign Consumer

Brent Rosengren, BrightWave Marketing

The South Star Awards are given to campaigns that have the power to change business. Each winner had proven to the judges the perfect combinations of visionary strategy, compelling creative and breakthrough results.

DMA Atlanta is Upgrading its Facebook Group to a Facebook Page

May 24, 2010

As a part of our commitment to offer the best of “marketing strategies”, you now have the opportunity to join the new DMA Atlanta Facebook Page. This improvement is not going to change the way you will connect to DMA Atlanta on Facebook, but it will allow DMA to connect with you in a more efficient way.

Please visit DMA Atlanta at:

Join us by clicking the I “Like” icon and become a fan of DMA Atlanta Facebook Page.

DMA Atlanta would like to thank you for your support and involvement, and we look forward to interacting with you on DMA Atlanta Facebook Page!


May 24, 2010

We think it is a great idea to connect the best and the brightest students coming out of our local college Marketing programs, with the best and brightest companies in the world, our DMA-Atlanta corporate members.

Our 10-12 week program will give marketing and business students nearing graduation an opportunity to work in the real world, alongside experts in their field. Our program will benefit the companies involved, by bringing in new perspectives to their business, and high-energy students to help reach and expand their business goals. The DMA-Atlanta benefits by introducing young people leaving college to our organization, with the hope that each of them will fall in love with Direct Marketing as we all have, and join.

We are in the final stages of designing this program, and are hoping to launch something very soon. If you have any input on how it can work best for you, or if you are interested in participating, please send a note to: Mark Dresser at

Useful link: When Interns Make Sense, Wall Street Journal: They aren’t just cheap labor. They can also bring new perspectives

Organizing For Social Media

May 24, 2010

by Chad Mitchell, Principal Analyst, Marketing & Strategy, Forrester Research

James Whaley, VP of corporate communications and marketing at Siemens Corporation, wrote an interesting article recently at http://www. around effective marketing organizations. He argued that marketing, PR and other departments (e.g. foundations, sales) must work together from a common platform to succeed. He says that, “It’s not who’s in charge–it’s who’s listening.” Whaley uses examples of how his PR, Marketing and Foundation departments work together.

Marketing leaders are tasked with more responsibility every year. Beyond traditional brand stewardship, CMOs are managing P&Ls, customer service, online and emerging channels, and customer experience.

Many CMOs are also responsible for social media. Social media also requires a cross-departmental approach to achieve success and create an effective organization. I interviewed 10 marketing leaders from our CMO group who manage social media. Every interviewee talked about the importance of collaboration with other departments when organizing for social media.

Our research shows that 52% of consumer-facing social media efforts are lead by CMOs. So, marketing is the right place to manage many of the social media functions – but NOT every social media activity. Through our interviews we uncovered a best practice – Assess the social media objective (e.g. listening) first and THEN organize by which department is the best fit.

Similar to Whaley’s article, it’s not about who is leading but which functional group (e.g. marketing, PR, IT) does the best job for the customer. If your social media objective is consumer outreach and monitoring, what department has the most experience in customer relations? Is it Marketing? Probably not. It may be public relations or even customer service who manages that social media activity.

The Good News…

Marketing leaders can take a step back and NOT lead every social media effort. Delegate and focus on what your department does well and team with other departments.

Your customers and organization will be better off!

Are You Sending the Right Amount of Emails to Your List?

May 24, 2010

By Allen Nance, Mansell Group, Inc.

You think so, right? But how do you know for sure if you are sending too many? Or not enough? There is a fine line to walk between over-mailing and under-mailing your subscribers.

Here’s the simple answer: there is no magic number when it comes to email frequency. The key to remember is that value is related to the frequency of your messages. What content you send impacts how often you can send. The problem of over-mailing is not that you send too many emails, but rather that you send too many of the same email or too many of what your subscriber deems ‘irrelevant emails’. The more value that the recipient places on the email, the more frequently you can send messages.

When it comes to perceived value in your email, content is king. Value in your email can be achieved by using relevant content, targeted messaging and segmentation of your list. Creating value in your email allows you to send more often because your subscribers will want to receive these messages that represent their interests, needs, or wants. When sending valuable content to subscribers, emails will be opened, not filed away for another time with all of their other emails. Once you establish that your emails are worth opening, subscribers won’t be concerned with how often you email, they will instead be paying attention to what’s in them.

While it might take you a little while to navigate the right frequency for your email list, the goal is to keep your brand and message top of mind for your subscribers by creating relevant content that keeps them excited for the next email to hit their inbox. So what is the perfect number of emails to send? That’s easy; there isn’t one ‘magic’ number.