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What can iBeacons do for retailers?

Scott Fasser
Account Director, Digital

We recently posted an article at RetailTouchpoints.com on how mobile will save retail. Our point was that retailers need to invest in the personal connection of mobile devices to customers to enhance the relationship between the brand and consumer.

A...

Mobile banners vs native advertising

BJ Hatcher
Account Manager

I read this post on the death of mobile banners in Mobile Marketer. And, it reminds me of any other hyperbolic argument that isn’t based on logic yet requires readers to choose only one side or the other.

It's true that as more brands turn to the mobile...

I remember the turmoil when the Bell System – affectionately known as Ma Bell -- was broken into independent companies by government mandate in the ‘80s. It took a little getting used to. And it took a lot of work for AT&T to rebrand.Healthcare organizations are going through a re-birth that’s almost as traumatic as Ma Bell’s.

To put it mildly, things have...

Mobile marketing in a flash!

BJ Hatcher
Account Manager

When speed matters – relationships trump process to me. Process is an important thing to any organization – especially ours – but at times those processes must be broken apart to find our true potential. We’ve had a series of mobile marketing campaigns over the past few weeks that have allowed our clients to be extremely nimble in supporting important initiatives to their...

10 Trends that Will Shape Digital Marketing in 2014

Scott Fasser
Account Director, Digital

2014 is here and it will be another growth year for digital marketing as mobile continues to evolve, big data becomes more actionable and marketers get smarter about connecting channels to lifecycle market to prospects and customers.

Here are ten trends that we saw and tested in 2013 that will have big impacts on campaigns and insight in 2014.

1) Increased ability to connect...

The digital world is abuzz with CES in Las Vegas. From a Michael Bay meltdown to eyeball-melting 4K televisions — here are a few CES 2014 trends you should keep on your radar.

Activity trackers pull in frontFitbit, Jawbone and Nike pioneered this segment, now others are quick to jump on the fitness bandwagon. Garmin (certainly no stranger to this area) has created...

Marketers: Go mobile first.

Kristin Flor
Managing Dir., Business Dev., Mktg & PR

We know Millennials are mobile-friendly. According to Forbes, 41% of them don’t even have a landline. (Of course, since some Millennials are only 18, they may be still be living with their parents’ landline. But still, mobile is their medium.)

We...

Competing in a multi-screen world.

Mark Capps
Executive Director

According to Google’s research, 90% of all media interactions are screen-based – including television. Only 10% of our media time is spent with radios, newspapers or magazines. That’s an amazing statistic.

We further divide...

Standing at the brink of a new era. Again.

Phil Weatherill
Copywriter

Just the other day, I read an article that said, “Marketing stands at the brink of a new era.” It quoted the statistic, 76% of marketers say marketing has changed more in the last two years than...

To Measure Mobile Marketing – Break the Dominant Paradigm

Scott Fasser
Account Director, Digital

Digital marketers are addicted to cookies. Not the delicious raisin-oatmeal variety, but the unique text files that reside in the internet browser on your computer and identify you as someone who visits ESPN.com and buys power tools regularly on Amazon.

 

The use of cookies is the dominant paradigm in digital tracking but it DOESN’T WORK in the mobile marketing...

8 keys to better customer emails, part 2

Mark Capps
Executive Director

Earlier I shared my first four keys to improving, tweaking and optimizing customer emails. If your business depends on staying connected to your customers, you need to regularly re-think your strategies and tactics. Things are changing too fast to stay complacent...

8 keys to better customer emails, part 1

Mark Capps
Executive Director

Email is an awesome marketing tool for customer digital marketing communications.  Customers are more willing than ever to provide businesses with a valid address that opens up a powerful, low-cost marketing channel.

But technological development never stops, and consumers get more tech savvy every day. Companies need to continually study, tweak, update and optimize their customer-facing...

Mobile marketers get hyper-relevant with hyperlocal data

Kristin Flor
Managing Dir., Business Dev., Mktg & PR

“Mobile marketers can use [big] data in endlessly creative ways to delight their customers.”

That quote comes from a timely article published in Mobile Marketer, written by Hacker Group Media Supervisor

3 traits of successful digital marketers

BJ Hatcher
Account Manager

Coworkers and friends ask me how I’ve been so successful at building a pretty comprehensive digital program with my clients. I’m going to focus on three traits that mean that most to me, although there are, undoubtedly, countless reasons for the success of our programs. These are the three traits that I would credit for my and my team’s success on our Digital Direct program.

1)...

A recent research report by Gleanster and Yesmail Interactive studies the minds and customer data of 100 senior-level marketers at companies with revenue from $10 million to $1 billion (“Customer Lifecycle Engagement: Customer Engagement Imperatives...

Over the past year and a half, we have been implementing responsive design and aggressively testing within our email marketing programs. 

Scott Fasser just shared some big picture results: CTR’s have increased between 78% and 318% while unsubscribe rates have...

Tom Reid

What if they cured cancer and nobody knew?

Tom Reid
Executive Director

By way of state health insurance marketplaces (aka health insurance exchanges), healthcare reform is due to reach its intended target in less than 60 days from today. While not quite as momentous as a cure for cancer, that fact that the target audience is largely unaware of reform is still extraordinary.  

Per recent tracking polls, the very audience that healthcare reform is most...

We often speak about the continuum of messaging as being mass communication on one hand and true 1:1 marketing on the other. As programs and clients continue to evolve programs to include newer placement opportunities in digital, we frequently run into our brand counterparts who claim "ownership" of the tactic.

These conversations have been around for a while now and will likely always be...

When we get questions about implementing “social” from our clients, the conversations are often frantic.  Our client has just stepped out of his or her CEO’s office and been asked:

“What are we doing on Twit-Book-Trest that’s like this?  THIS is the future.  This is SO engaging…”

….as the mesmerized CEO...

Spyro

The evolution of digital and data-driven direct marketing

Spyro Kourtis
President/Chief Executive Officer

Were you ever "tricked" by a magazine advertorial, thinking it was editorial content? Not only have I had this happen, but I got a real kick out of it. After all, that was the point of these contextual advertising units. They were served up smack in the middle of a magazine and always sold something (seemingly) terrific.

The "new black" in display advertising is native ads and they are a...

How does digital media get sales now?

Krista Alef
Media Supervisor

It is often hard in this business to find the best way to consider “measurable direct.” Sure, we know how it works with Direct Mail and TV – people have a straightforward call-to-action:  they see the message and call (or mail something back). Digital, on the other hand, is far from straightforward - so many factors go into digital. First off, there’s the chance you...

Shouldn’t all your silos get along?

Kevin Platt
Copywriter

Ever since there’s been multiple media in the marketing mix, there’s been competition between channels. What started out as simply diversifying your media mix has become a series of silos spread throughout a company.

From mail to online to TV to emerging media, everyone has their roles and responsibilities. Everyone has to claim their own sales. And everyone has to prove their...

Marketing Manager, be wary of analytics gurus touting media mix attribution to track performance.

No matter how you slice results, there will always be performance “winners” and “losers” for which media and campaigns are producing results and which ones aren’t. More times than not, however, it’s the marketing managers of the “losers” peddling...

The ultimate customer experience

Mark Capps
Executive Director

Beginning in 2012, AT&T has thrown its considerable support behind the ultimate customer experience: staying alive. That’s right – AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign deals directly with a key challenge facing today’s mobile carriers and the U.S. public:...

The NY Times article J.C. Penney’s New Plan Is to Reuse Its Old Plans summarizes efforts to go from jcp back to “Penney’s” (“I love Penney’s” as my Mom would say). They...

Spyro

Direct marketing on the mobile edge

Spyro Kourtis
President/Chief Executive Officer

According to the IAB, last year mobile advertising spending increased by 111% and accounted for 9 percent of all digital ad revenue (which also increased).

It's a big jump, but not necessarily as big as it should have been.

They're easy to find but we don't need statistics to prove that behavior has already changed. To accurately reflect the word "marketing," we need to honor the market...

Tom Reid

Sales attribution matters.

Tom Reid
Executive Director

As large amounts of advertising dollars shift to digital vehicles, the age old struggle of marketers to determine what part of their budget is actually working has taken on a new name – “attribution.” While digital vehicles add more channels of audience reach, the fundamental issues of attribution remain the same.

The first thing to embrace is that complex buying decisions...

My life as an always-addressable consumer

Mark Capps
Executive Director

While perusing Forrester’s 2013 Interactive Marketing Predictions report (Forrester Research, February 11, 2013), I realized that I can now add another title to my role as a participant in the U.S. economy –...

At Hacker Group, proofreading is a crucial function in the flawless implementation of direct marketing programs across all accountable media. Our team of proofreaders is tasked with approving every element of each project they review—from the big picture to the smallest detail, from smartphone and tablet to the mailbox.

A proofreader can expect to review up to 100 individual projects...

Mobile First = Customer First

BJ Hatcher
Account Manager

The concept of Mobile First has been around for a few years now, and like all new trends it has finally hit the main stage as the most important new term that you should keep in mind every day. There’s the Mobile First theory, and of course the major design and code elements that make a Mobile First campaign successful. I’m not a developer, so I’m going to stick to theory, and...

Where to next?

Mark Capps
Executive Director

Relevance is key in customer lifecycle communications. Today’s savvy customers understand that the companies seeking to retain them have the big data details behind their relationship. These customers increasingly allow and even expect these nuggets of relevance to be used to communicate with, inform and retain them.

Hacker Group’s customer lifecycle program for Carnival Cruise...

While it is counterintuitive to think a single interaction – a response to a solicitation – should get marketing credit for a sale, most marketers strive to prove this very fact in their efforts to understand what part of their budget is actually working.

The intent of multi-channel marketing is to produce a greater volume of market engagement than from the use of a single channel. ...

Customer-Focused Messaging, Part Two

BJ Hatcher
Account Manager

I recently promised more examples of what I’m calling “Customer-Focused Messaging.”

What I mean by that is considering deeply not just the customer’s attitude toward the brand or product, not just an insight into her pain points, but thinking...

Customer-focused messaging is the key

BJ Hatcher
Account Manager

Marketers like to debate campaign execution: Should the approach center on one consistent design theme? Does there need to be a fully consistent design across platforms? Is the consistent thread of a brand identity enough to unite a message?

I suppose there’s no right answer to these questions, but there are certainly other critical factors to consider. Plus, we should never forget...

Carolyn Hansen

Keep the sales conversation going

Carolyn Hansen
Executive Director, Marketing

Look at all the communications you’ve delivered in 2012. Email, direct mail, Twitter and Facebook conversations – and, we hope, face-to-face or (at least) phone conversations.

Are they engaging your customers, leads and prospects as much as they possibly could? Are there key facts you could gather through upcoming programs that could improve your close rate?

Much has been...

Carolyn Hansen

Targeting strategy for a new era.

Carolyn Hansen
Executive Director, Marketing

A data-driven marketing organization must always stay on top of new ways to reach customers. But this effort must be balanced with a strategic mindset, or there’s a risk of chasing after the “new” before the “current” becomes established and trustworthy.

Media opportunities are plentiful. In fact, the proliferation has led to frustration for both marketers and...

As marketing approaches continue to evolve in the ways we deliver messages -- as well as in how consumers choose to receive them -- we must continue to create the stories that will get noticed, spur a response, and generate a sale.

One of these evolving, although not emerging, areas is in email marketing. While at the DMA this week, I attended a session on email best practices. As marketers,...

Making connections.

Debbie Smith
Senior Account Manager

We hear a lot about living in a “multi-screen world.” And in the ever-competitive race for share of screen, some mobile marketers have been saying that the “first screen” is our mobile devices.

During a DMA session on “The Cutting Edge of Mobile Marketing” representatives from Google, Mobile Fusion and the Mobile Marketing Association shared some research...

Forrester’s Tina Moffett had me thinking all day about sales attribution.

Tina pointed out that more than ever consumers have a variety of pathways to learn about and interact with a brand during their purchase path to sale.

From a brand’s Google Adword campaign to its Facebook page, or EM to DM, or a DRTV spot, consumers are being influence by a collection of marketing...

The mobile connective tissue.

Krista Alef
Media Supervisor

Remember the good ol’ days of learning on a chalkboard, carrying textbooks, referencing the phone book on the counter, writing down directions? So last century. Now, thanks to mobile technology, kindergartners are learning and reading off of iPads, and finding a phone number or a store location is as seamless as one simple swipe.

Although some may say “those were the days,”...

Who runs the world (with their wallets)?

Emily Bayer
Account Executive

This time of year, surrounded by political propaganda and detailed debate, the gender divide is brought to the forefront of my mind. It’s not my fault, I can’t help it – but I’m not sorry.

I think it’s a very interesting to juxtapose the Sisyphean battles women face in the political realm with the staggering statistics that show their climbing influence and control...

Tom Reid

Facebook and the great healthcare convergence

Tom Reid
Executive Director

In addition to marking memorable points in wealth creation and social media fervor, Facebook's recent IPO also marks a significant point in the great health care convergence that we are all living through right now. Over the next several years as social media trends impact and converge with health care trends, we will experience incredible changes to the quality, cost and timeliness of our health...

Some may say that “incorrigible, loathsome, and pragmatic” accurately describe me.  This phrase is actually the ending sentence from this article about oil companies by Larry Dobrow.  I agree.  Brands, not just oil companies, sometimes strive too hard...

Is NPS a marketing KPI?

Brian Benner
Account Manager

Three-letter abbreviations are the curse of business communication. Everyone in marketing is familiar with ROI (return on investment) and can discuss KPIs (key performance indicators). But a relative newcomer to the buzzword circuit, at least for direct marketers, is NPS or Net Promoter Score.

In...

Just little bits of history repeating

Jenifer Joyce
Account Manager

Doesn’t it seem like travel marketing and mobile ought to be a perfect fit?

Last week, I met with one of the leading travel conference organizers looking to firm up their speaking roster for this year’s event. We talked for a few moments about what’s most on the minds of the travel marketers he serves, and it’s clear: everyone wants mobile this year.

Hearing...

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings needs to tell all his detractors and the fair-weather fans bailing on his stock to read a book.  More specifically, they should check out a paper by Jakob Nielsen in which he postulates the exponential growth of internet bandwidth every two years.  Nielsen's Law claims the speed with which we can download Internet content (let’s just say a movie...

True confessions: Why I love Brand

Steve Rosenblum
Executive Director

I confess, I love Brand.   I really do.

Blasphemy, you say, coming from a Direct Marketer?  Not at all!  Let me tell you why.

First I should clarify:  When I say “I love Brand” I don’t have a collection of shot glasses I won on eBay with my favorite teams’ logos on them; I don’t secretly flip through InStyle to see what J-Lo or...

Spyro

I’m glad you asked

Spyro Kourtis
President/Chief Executive Officer

I had a great time talking with the people who attended my session at the DMA!

I always find I learn more by preparing to speak and then discussing the topic than I ever would by attending even the best possible sessions. So I’m very grateful I had the opportunity to present.

Since I was talking about multi-channel marketing, it’s not surprising that I got a couple of questions...

What's working in email now?

Jenifer Joyce
Account Manager

Who doesn’t love “what works” articles, books and conference sessions? The yes or no. Do this. Don’t do that. It appeals to our need to draw a line somewhere.

That was the DMA 2011 session with Jay Schwedelson on email. I took a ton of notes.

Here are some highlights:

Pre-headers: Do they matter? Emails that utilize the first line of a preheader for...

Matthew Knuth

What the DMA taught me about the Twitterverse

Matthew Knuth
Business Development Manager

Let me confess from the beginning . . . I’m not a power Twitter user. So Biz Stone’s presentation at DMA 2011 was pretty interesting to me.

Here are a few ideas I got:

Twitter will become more prevalent for evaluating products and services. I never would have thought of it that way. I think of it as more of a broadcast medium. But, it’s absolutely...

What can Facebook do for marketers?

Matt Witter
General Manager

I previously wrote a blog post in which I was skeptical of Facebook’s ability to acquire new customers.  Rather, I thought Facebook was a pure retention and loyalty play.

Based on last night’s DMA 2011 Keynote, Facebook is fine tuning its pitch to demonstrate...

Carolyn Hansen

Giving mobile marketing its due

Carolyn Hansen
Executive Director, Marketing

A July survey of brand marketing executives showed that mobile marketing still doesn’t get much in the way of respect. Yes, marketers have been spending more on mobile in the past couple of years – with...

Carolyn Hansen

How do your prospects want to buy?

Carolyn Hansen
Executive Director, Marketing

One thing direct marketers learned a long time ago is that our target audience is always limited. Many people are just not direct-marketing responsive.

This was true for direct mail – so we would always look for mailing lists of people who had responded to direct mail in the past. When Hacker Group moved into digital marketing (back in the 20th century), we had no expectation that online...

I recently posted about the importance of correctly developing your target audience to get the most out of your campaign.

Here’s an example of what I mean by that.

A client of ours was particularly interested in developing a marketing campaign...

Marketers of the world, unite!

Jill Kaufman
Vice President

The era of agency specialization has reached its inevitable conclusion. I think it’s time for the pendulum to swing back.

For the past decade or so, CMOs have had to call on new types of agencies to help them with new types of media, new technologies and new ways of thinking about marketing and advertising. And it was understandable. If your agency didn’t have the technical chops...

Pay attention to this bright shiny object

Jenifer Joyce
Account Manager

In the overall marketing landscape, no doubt mobile marketing is one of the fastest-evolving disciplines. With so many new trends coming to the fore, it’s easy for marketers to be lured by the latest hype or cool app launch. Here’s a real-deal technology to get in front of now: Augmented Reality (AR).

If you’ve watched an NFL game on television in the last two years, you’ve...

Why drive traffic to a Facebook page?

Matt Witter
General Manager

I discussed reasons why Facebook is not necessarily the right response channel for direct marketers looking for new customers in an earlier post.

But to entirely dismiss Facebook’s power to influence opinion and behavior would be naive. I believe the following implementations of Facebook...

Can Facebook marketing impact sales?

Matt Witter
General Manager

Recently, a client asked our opinion about trying to send prospects to a branded Facebook page as one of our calls to action. My response was, “With the right incentive, I’m confident we could use offline marketing to drive traffic to Facebook. However, I question whether this effort would translate to incremental sales.”

Here are a few reasons why I answered the way I did...

Carolyn Hansen

Age and sex shouldn't matter to marketers

Carolyn Hansen
Executive Director, Marketing

How long have we been beating the drum that demographics are a poor indicator of purchase behavior?

Finally. FINALLY, a TV media researcher has come out with a similar finding. Ad Age reports that the Chief Research Officer at CBS Corp. says that using demographics to target is “essentially...

Spyro

No more Interactive AOY at Cannes

Spyro Kourtis
President/Chief Executive Officer

I was right.

Two years ago, I said in Adweek that a Digital Agency of the Year was a bad idea.

Now I read in Ad Age that the Cannes...

Please fence me in

Jenifer Joyce
Account Manager

After three years of looking at my mobile device and wistfully hoping it would magically send me a well-timed offer, it has finally happened.

I’m a soccer mom (and baseball, basketball, speed skating, you name it). Bottom line, we’re busy. I work, and aside from finding time to make fabulous pies, I hate to cook. I’ve longed for some savvy restaurant to figure out how to...

Spyro

Thinking through mobile marketing

Spyro Kourtis
President/Chief Executive Officer

New technology is loaded with pitfalls. All of us ought to know that by now.

One of our competitors began calling themselves mobile marketing experts. They sent out a news release announcing a new website dedicated to “mobile marketing best practices and thought leadership.”

I went to check it out. The site itself is not optimized for mobile viewing.

I’m...

Mistakes ALL marketers should avoid

Matt Witter
General Manager

I wanted to share this article from MobileMarketer on "Six mistakes to avoid in mobile advertising this holiday season."

This list could be considered a good reminder, but only #6 is really specific to mobile.  Although mobile is new its fundamentals should not stray from good direct marketing basics and...

Is ROI really that hard?

Matt Witter
General Manager

We recently had presentations from two very significant media organizations. I’m pretty sure that just about everyone in America has heard of both these companies.

It surprised me that, in both of these presentations, they were not able to answer questions about ROI of their solutions because A.) they were so new  B.) they don’t  track through to sale and C.) at the...

Spyro

3 reasons to start investing in mobile marketing now

Spyro Kourtis
President/Chief Executive Officer

I’m currently championing mobile marketing with our clients – and I have several good reasons for doing so, even though early results may not immediately justify my enthusiasm.

Did I say that? I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone to ignore results before!

However, in this case I believe our short-term thinking is likely to get in the way of our long-term...

Carolyn Hansen

Measurement isn't everything

Carolyn Hansen
Executive Director, Marketing

If someone in this blog says “measurement isn’t everything,” you may be expecting the next phrase to be “it’s the only thing.” Or maybe that’s just me. I grew up in Wisconsin, where Vince Lombardi’s famous quotes were tattooed inside our eyelids.

I mean it. Measuring...

Carolyn Hansen

Is advertising effective? Does it work on you?

Carolyn Hansen
Executive Director, Marketing

Here’s a great way to NOT prove the effectiveness of advertising: Ask people if they think it works on them.

An Adweek Media/Harris poll discovered that very few people admit that advertising sways them.

You could have knocked me down with a feather.  (That...

Carolyn Hansen

What do you think of Facebook Lite?

Carolyn Hansen
Executive Director, Marketing

” that gave me pause.  Business Implications of Facebook LiteI stumbled across an article called “

I’ve...

Carolyn Hansen

Mobile marketing and segmentation

Carolyn Hansen
Executive Director, Marketing

Read a helpful Marketing Sherpa article on mobile marketing that interviews Jeff Hasen, CMO of HipCricket.

My favorite bit is this:

Strategy...

Carolyn Hansen

It's a candy mint AND a breath mint.

Carolyn Hansen
Executive Director, Marketing

Just read another article about the poor, beleaguered banner ad in Mediaweek.

The Online Publisher’s Association and comScore want us to know that banners are about more than clicks. This follows efforts by the IAB and Microsoft to do the same thing.

True,...

Carolyn Hansen

Counting clicks.

Carolyn Hansen
Executive Director, Marketing

Isn’t it odd that, whenever you have firsthand knowledge about something you read in a newspaper, you realize the article is full of inaccuracies? I say this as someone whose college major was Journalism (about 500 years ago) – so I sympathize with news writers. It’s never easy to pull together every stakeholder’s perspective and have a...

Carolyn Hansen

Don't fail in new media.

Carolyn Hansen
Executive Director, Marketing

If you’re getting started in new and emerging media, I’m going to recommend checking out Brian Gilbert’s new audio conference on April 22, sponsored by The Competitive Advantage.

Brian is our VP of Integrated Marketing, as well as a contributing writer for The Competitive...

Carolyn Hansen

Shifting marketing budgets from offline to online.

Carolyn Hansen
Executive Director, Marketing

It’s easy to use this forum to poke at what others do. Making fun is fun -- and I indulge that guilty pleasure here often enough.

So, please note: I just read a recent interview that made me want to stand up and cheer. And I am telling you about it here, hoping this kinder, gentler post will provide contrast to those meaner, snarkier ones I usually write.

Beverly Thorne, SVP...

Spyro

Sandwich Board Agency of the Year

Spyro Kourtis
President/Chief Executive Officer

I wrote a guest column published in Adweek’s online edition yesterday that’s gotten some interesting reaction.

I suggest that awarding a "Digital Agency of the Year" is an anachronism, because we’re now at the point where every marketer...

Brian Gilbert

Campaign-specific SEM.

Brian Gilbert
Vice President, Integrated Marketing

I was talking to a friend yesterday about her small business and found out she knew absolutely nothing about search-engine marketing. She’d never heard of Google AdWords or Microsoft adCenter.

As I thought about it, I realized that SEM can be overlooked by some of the bigger players, too.

So here’s a reminder. Put it on your to-do list. Whenever you run a direct marketing...

Brian Gilbert

Doing more with your database.

Brian Gilbert
Vice President, Integrated Marketing

If the new theme of 2009 is "doing more with less," as Carolyn said yesterday, a great place to look is your own database.

Customer acquisition is even more expensive in a downturn, so taking good care of the customers you have should be a very high priority. VERY high. You know your competitors will...

Brian Gilbert

An apples-to-apples approach.

Brian Gilbert
Vice President, Integrated Marketing

Traditional direct marketers look at costs with an exacting eye.  All costs are included.  This is the only honest way to approach measurement, budgeting and goal-setting.  And most importantly, it’s the only way you can effectively optimize your spend across channels to maximize your return.

Carolyn Hansen

What green means.

Carolyn Hansen
Executive Director, Marketing

I started talking about the Good and Green Conference in yesterday’s post. You might wonder why I went.

Hacker Group launched an internal green initiative a year and a half ago and we started the Green Marketing Coalition this past spring. The Coalition looks at marketing...

Spyro

Vindication! Sort of.

Spyro Kourtis
President/Chief Executive Officer

Back on June 16, I posted a piece about better targeting for cable television advertisers in response to a Wall Street Journal article. The article’s writer was concerned about tighter targets meaning less advertising dollars going to cable. I thought this was short-sighted. If I may quote myself here:

I see this as an opportunity...

Brian Gilbert

Should you go all-in with digital marketing?

Brian Gilbert
Vice President, Integrated Marketing

Economic uncertainty can bring opportunities for brave souls.  Many business advisors are telling marketers that -- while cost-cutting is important -- cutting marketing budgets too much can be deadly. Considering the marketing mix becomes crucial when there’s little room for error.

Here’s data from an

Carolyn Hansen

More light reading about behavioral targeting.

Carolyn Hansen
Executive Director, Marketing

The continuing off-target discussion about behavioral targeting is a real frustration to me. 

In MediaPost’s Behavioral Insider, there’s an interview with comScore’s vice president of product management, Steve Dennen.  He’s touting a new product that purports to help advertisers better...

Spyro

Believing the hype about marketing ROI.

Spyro Kourtis
President/Chief Executive Officer

It’s not funny . . . but I had to laugh.  According to a study by Aegis Group’s Marketing Management Analytics (MMA) reported in Ad Age, nine in 10 financial executives don’t use return-on-investment metrics to set marketing budgets.  Why?  They don’t believe the numbers.

That’s...

Jon Bell

Au contraire, Mr. Contrarian.

Jon Bell
Associate Creative Director

I just read a blog post by someone more curmudgeonly than I am.  The post is even called ''A Cranky, Skeptical Loudmouth Looks at Social Media Marketing.''  Delightful!  Wish I'd thought of that title.

I'm so cranky, I found something in this post I had to disagree with (although much of it made a...

Brian Gilbert

Grossly Irrelevant.

Brian Gilbert
Vice President, Integrated Marketing

Why are online media plans based on gross impressions?

It continually frustrates me that impressions is considered a key metric by many marketers.

For one thing, you have no idea if you've made any kind of impression.  Back in the day before VCRs and DVRs and TiVo, when you ran a TV commercial, you could pretty much count on having some impact on the subconscious.  Unless,...

Brian Gilbert

First things first.

Brian Gilbert
Vice President, Integrated Marketing

Email may not be as sexy as advertising on Facebook or launching a mobile marketing campaign but, for most of us, it's the bread and butter of online marketing.

Email is also more complicated than it looks.  Sure, my Mom can send an email to me and my sister -- but that doesn't make what e-marketers do any less complex.  When I was seven years old, I could write a thank-you note...

Brian Gilbert

Why is ''integrated marketing'' important?

Brian Gilbert
Vice President, Integrated Marketing

Marketing Charts says "integrated marketing communications" is the number one priority of senior marketers. They surveyed 157 members of the Association of National Advertisers.

That's nice. But it looks like it may be putting the cart before the horse....

Brian Gilbert

Does recession mean more budget for online?

Brian Gilbert
Vice President, Integrated Marketing

We've seen it in the past. Direct marketing spending holds up, even when the economy tanks. When you have the numbers to back you up, it's easier to justify spending on direct -- even when you can see the cost-per-sale go up.

Six or eight months ago, before the word "recession" had been spoken aloud, the outlook for online marketing was hot. Now it's gotten even hotter.

Just so...

Carolyn Hansen

Addressing age issues online

Carolyn Hansen
Executive Director, Marketing
Burst Media published survey results saying that "few respondents 55 years and older say Internet content is primarily focused on people their age."

We probably don't need a survey to tell us that. After all, except for financial planning services and long-term care insurance, little in this life seems specifically aimed at people over 55. (I exaggerate. But only a little.)

What...

Spyro

Free is the new . . . marketing problem

Spyro Kourtis
President/Chief Executive Officer

It seems like everything is being offered free -- and I'm starting to get worried.

It started in 1984 with "information wants to be free" -- which, according to Wikipedia, was said by a computer hacker first. The guy actually said that the right information in the right context is extremely valuable, but our means of disseminating information is getting cheaper. Regardless of what...

Brian Gilbert

Targeting technology

Brian Gilbert
Vice President, Integrated Marketing
The New York Times published an article last week about how Alaska Airlines is now able to personalize ads on the Internet using behavioral targeting. As a Seattleite and frequent Alaska Airlines customer, I’ve always been impressed with the innovations that they have brought to market. They were early adopters of personalized mileage plan statements via email and are continuously improving their...
Spyro

What's your social media IQ?

Spyro Kourtis
President/Chief Executive Officer
Last week, Brandweek published an article saying ad agencies "don't get" social media.

I'm all for jumping on big, dumb ad agencies. You've seen me do it right here in this blog.

But who really does get social media as an advertising channel? Even the social media owners trip up -- as Facebook did when they decided to publish details about what you buy online to your friends....

Brian Gilbert

What's the return on the cost of getting ROI data?

Brian Gilbert
Vice President, Integrated Marketing
It's all about ROI nowadays ... and everybody and their (big) brother appear to be getting on the bandwagon.

This is from last Monday's (February 11) Wall Street Journal:

A new media research company, TRA — for "True ROI Accountability for Media" — is taking another crack at the problem. It merges data from people's cable set-top boxes with consumer-purchase...
Tara Scot

Junk or spam?

Tara Scot
Interactive Specialist
If you have multiple email accounts, you know that some of them label unasked for mail as "junk" and others as "spam." In my Outlook email at work, I look in the junk email folder and a few of the dozens of items are tagged as SUSPECTED SPAM. In Hotmail, they give me a Junk folder too.

In Gmail, they just set up a Spam folder — no refinements. It's spam or it's in...

Spyro

What demographic data really means

Spyro Kourtis
President/Chief Executive Officer
Here's a piece of news from a recent Wall Street Journal. In an article about television media data analysts, they report a brilliant insight:

One evolving theory: that advertisers should pay more attention to people's viewing patterns than to their demographics, such as whether they are a twentysomething or a male. Fans of the NBC Universal show "Heroes," for example, whether...
Brian Gilbert

What in the world are you measuring?

Brian Gilbert
Vice President, Integrated Marketing
Recently EmailStatCenter.com released results from an August survey that indicate that email marketing "professionals ranked click through rate and deliverability as the most important metrics to track."

Third on the list was conversion rate and measuring ROI was fourth in importance on the list. Revenue was sixth out of eight options....

Jurgen Stephan

Long Live the ROI!

Jurgen Stephan
Executive Director, New Business Development
Marketing folks used to be the big spenders in the company and always got the evil eye from the CFO. Not any longer! These days, marketing spending is getting more and more measurable, and is driving the company's top line and making cost effective choices at the same time.

The online revolution has brought upon us precise ways of measurement from the early buying cycle of prospects to the...

Brian Gilbert

Please behave.

Brian Gilbert
Vice President, Integrated Marketing
Behavioral targeting is the new watchword of Web and mobile marketing. The buzz has now hit the 100 decibel level and I'm starting to go a little deaf.

Direct marketers have been talking about behavioral targeting probably before most of us were born. What we meant was buying behavior. If someone had responded to a direct marketing offer — in just about any way, shape...

I have a confession to make. As an employee of a direct marketing agency, it's an ugly one...

I check my home mailbox less than once a week. Sometimes I just go get my Netflix movies and leave the rest of the mail behind. I won't go into the reasons why, let's just assume the voices tell me to do it that way, and move on.

So I suck at getting my mail. But I check my email...

Spyro

No more silos.

Spyro Kourtis
President/Chief Executive Officer
The lines are blurring — and that means it's an exciting time to be a marketer. At the DMA, I look around and see some organizations still living in the 20th century and others who have definitely moved on. What's interesting is that the companies from an earlier era are great at defining who they are — they're list vendors or print vendors or even digital marketing providers. It's...
Carolyn Hansen

Do you google yourself?

Carolyn Hansen
Executive Director, Marketing
Of course you do. You learn such interesting things. For example, I'm a real estate agent in Minnesota. I'm also a lawyer in the state of New York. Best of all, I teach Spanish at the University of South Carolina. I vacation in Mexico quite a bit, but I had no idea I was so fluent in the language. These fascinating search results come from having a relatively common name.

Hacker is not a common name....

Paul Ford

How the medium changes the message

Paul Ford
Associate Creative Director
Earlier, Brian Gilbert talked about non-addressable direct response media in this space.

That got me thinking about the creative work for campaigns across multiple media. I don’t think it’s necessarily a cut-and-paste idea for your creative team. The creative concept and tone ought to be different with non-addressable media than they are with mail – mainly because you’re talking one-to-many, rather...

Brian Gilbert

If it doesn't have an address, is it still direct?

Brian Gilbert
Vice President, Integrated Marketing
In direct, we’re used to thinking about mail and email. But other media can be measured – and that’s why they’re great opportunities for direct response marketers.

Direct response TV may not be right for your product. However, if you’re marketing a consumer product at a decent price point, you can’t dismiss TV out of hand. Is there a niche audience that particular programs or channels target that’s...

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2011

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Why drive traffic to a Facebook page?

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Age and sex shouldn't matter to marketers

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No more Interactive AOY at Cannes

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Au contraire, Mr. Contrarian.

Jon Bell | 6.3.2008
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Addressing age issues online

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Spyro

Free is the new . . . marketing problem

Spyro Kourtis | 3.12.2008
Brian Gilbert

Targeting technology

Brian Gilbert | 3.11.2008
Spyro

What's your social media IQ?

Spyro Kourtis | 3.4.2008
Mar
Brian Gilbert

What's the return on the cost of getting ROI data?

Brian Gilbert | 2.19.2008
Feb
Tara Scot

Junk or spam?

Tara Scot | 1.29.2008
Spyro

What demographic data really means

Spyro Kourtis | 1.15.2008
Jan
2007
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What in the world are you measuring?

Brian Gilbert | 12.4.2007
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Jurgen Stephan

Long Live the ROI!

Jurgen Stephan | 11.19.2007
Brian Gilbert

Please behave.

Brian Gilbert | 11.7.2007
Nov
Tara Scot

Will the voices please shut up, I'm trying to talk about email here!

Tara Scot | 10.23.2007
Spyro

No more silos.

Spyro Kourtis | 10.17.2007
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Do you google yourself?

Carolyn Hansen | 10.9.2007
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How the medium changes the message

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If it doesn't have an address, is it still direct?

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