Marketers: Find Your Reach, Reach Your Finds

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) kicked off its annual DM Days conference Tuesday with the notion that automated marketing needs a new game plan. DM Days, the largest marketing exposition in the Northeast, is held to help marketers maximize the effectiveness and success of their efforts. The keynote presentation, "Multichannel Marketing in a Digital Age," engaged a group of experts to discuss the state of marketing today and to introduce ideas for the future. The panel discussed database marketing and analytics as invaluable tools, but also stated that the industry still has a long way to go in standardizing and leveraging data to help make customer interactions as rich and as valuable as possible. "Customers move quickly and lately they've become harder to reach than ever," said John Greco, president and CEO. "The emergence of a digital multichannel universe has complicated the job of making connections and closing the loop." Keynote speakers emphasized the need to make metrics uniform. "The data is truly appalling, especially in terms of online management," said Marta Wohrle, vice president of digital media for Hachette Filipacchi Media. Others agreed that the appearance of their marketing data changed notably, depending on the source through which they gathered it. Many expressed frustration at these discrepancies, citing the differences in numbers as one of the biggest obstacles companies must face in making decisions to drive new marketing campaigns. However, the panel expressed much hope for the future if marketers continued to look toward innovation and best practices. Doug Bewsher, vice president of consulting and analytics for Loyalty Lab, advised marketers to delve deeply into one or two areas, rather than spread themselves thin by trying to perform in every channel. Immediacy and boldness were also emphasized as crucial tactics. "Rather than spending a year thinking about your strategy, just get out there." Eric Eller, senior director of product marketing at Advertising.com, recommended that marketers "take one stop beyond their comfort level to do something new." The importance of pushing forward while looking back was the central message that came out of the discussion. In the words of Mike Levine, director of strategic alliances for Yahoo! Search Marketing, "We need to use the data we have effectively, so that we can get the right information to the right people in the right place at the right time." Related articles: What Can Direct Mail Do For Marketers?
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