Magazine article CRM Magazine

Every Channel Has Its Thorn: Marketers Seek to Tear Down Channel Silos to Improve Customer Data and Build Better Campaigns

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Every Channel Has Its Thorn: Marketers Seek to Tear Down Channel Silos to Improve Customer Data and Build Better Campaigns

Article excerpt

Cross-channel or no channel at all! That was the message coming out of DMA2010 in San Francisco as Direct Marketing Association (DMA) executives, chief marketing officers, and rock band Poison frontman Bret Michaels gathered to discuss the best ways for brands to use customer data and direct marketing to improve campaigns and maximize return on investment.

The message was hammered home before any flights were booked. "Integration is key," read the event's home page. "DMA2010 is the global event covering all marketing channels."

The most successful and farthest-reaching campaign highlighted during the five-day event was Pepsi's Refresh Project, which encourages people, businesses, and nonprofit organizations to create projects that will promote positive change within communities.

Refresh, a campaign PepsiCo began in lieu of buying a Super Bowl ad, exemplifies DMA's cross-channel method by connecting video content, social media, paid search, display ads, email marketing, and a mobile site. Participation levels since the campaign's launch a year ago have been tremendous: 7,500 ideas have been submitted, more than 46 million people have voted for their favorite projects, 256 projects have received Pepsi Refresh Project grants, and accepted projects have reached more than 200,000 people.

All good marketing "starts with listening," explains Bonin Bough, PepsiCo's global director of digital and social media. While that may sound hokey, there's no denying PepsiCo greatly benefited from handing the microphone to its customers. Bough announced during DMA2010 the company's intent to expand Pepsi Refresh to Latin America, Europe, and Asia this year.

Direct marketing, as defined during DMA CEO Lawrence Kimmel's opening keynote, is "the channel-agnostic approach to driving maximum customer satisfaction and optimal marketplace results." Kimmel's address served as a rallying cry for direct marketers who believe their profession has been misunderstood by the public.

Kimmel cited a Wikipedia entry for "direct marketing" that a contributor suggested be merged with an entry for "leaflet distribution." Though the suggestion disappeared shortly afterward, Kimmel noted that Wikipedia still claims direct marketing reaches audiences without TV, newspaper, or radio. "The world thinks direct marketing is channel-specific. It has never been," Kimmel said. …

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