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Ernan RomanLast week’s DMA Annual Conference in Las Vegas provided a forum for thoughtful discussions about critical issues for marketers.

Despite being in a party town, the global economic fears kept people very focused.

We were pleased to see so many international attendees at our session. Countries included Romania, South Africa, Columbia and many European nations.

I’ve asked some thoughtful marketers to share their top takeaways from the conference. You will see their 15 Tips and Learnings below.

My number one takeaway:

While it is good to see so much discussion regarding multichannel marketing, please keep in mind that this is not the complete solution.

Marketers must develop value propositions which motivate people to opt-in to a dialogue with their company. In the course of this opt-in process, decision makers can provide relevant, uniquely accurate self-profile information regarding their preferences. This is also the time to ask for their media preferences and aversions.

As you can imagine, the accuracy and power of this opt-in driven database is remarkable.
Without this opt-in process, marketers are subjecting people to multichannel irritation.
For 15 valuable Tips and Learnings from attendees to the DMA Annual Conference, please read below.

With best wishes,


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Attendees Share 15 Tips and Learnings from DMA Annual

Wedgewood PharmacyMarcy Kelly
Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Wedgewood Pharmacy

Tip 1:
There is a new, more meaningful definition of “opt-in.” It isn’t just about opting-in to a channel, like email. Opting-in today is about discovering what kind of personalized communication is relevant to customers, what channel(s) they prefer, and the volume and frequency of communication that meets their needs.

Tip 2:
At our company, marketing, new product development, sales and customer service all report up through the same organization. This seems to be a huge advantage when trying to lead the implementation of a truly integrated approach. (I heard comments, like “we don’t manage the call center, so I can’t make them do that! Or “We just have to sell the products they give us.”)

Tip 3:
Effective lead management is critical to success, measurement and cost efficiencies.


Lisa Forlenza
Online Marketing Manager
Duke Energy

Tip 4:
As marketers, we need to adapt to economic conditions. That means now, more than ever, we must build strong relationships and cultivate loyalty with our customers. Anyone can compete on price, so your goal should be value.

Tip 5:
Social networking is a tool in your marketing arsenal that should not be ignored. If you want to talk to your customers, you need to meet them in their preferred channel. However, before you jump into the conversation be sure you LISTEN first. Listen to what is already being discussed about you in the blogosphere. Listen to what topics matter to your customers. Only then can you provide them with a genuine, meaningful and collaborative environment of your own.


PCH Debbie Holland
Executive VP Creative Strategy and Communications
Publishers Clearing House


Tip 6:
The DMA '08 Conference clearly demonstrated our industry's commitment to satisfying consumer choices and preferences. Everything direct marketers strive to achieve, from offering fresh, relevant products and content, to ‘round the clock’ availability of communication through any and all media channels, to the convenience of home delivery, is designed to please and empower the consumer. DMA’s initiative to enhance consumers' ability to choose which offers they receive and how frequently, is an example of a 'best practices' response to market demands.


Old MutualLumondt Kritzinger
Head Old Mutual Activate
Old Mutual, Cape Town Africa

Tip 7:
The very simple notion of hearing and understanding the Voice of the Customer via VOC research, ensures relevancy and sustainability in the new marketing era where the quest for customer intimacy and relationships is so important.

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VergilElisabeth Kilberg Skallevold
CRM-rådgiver og skribent, Vergil

Tip 8:
All communication must start and end with the customer in focus, i.e. we can no longer expect to get good ROI from our campaigns and programs if we keep talking to our customers instead of engaging them in a dialogue. Furthermore, this dialogue must be valuable and relevant in both traditional and emerging channels. If a customer wants to buy something offline, get his/hers follow-up by email and the next purchase online, it is our job to facilitate the process to fit the customer’s needs, not ours.


Mater Foundation
Steven Banks
Director - Lotteries
Mater Foundation

Tip 9:
It was important to hear the continued valid role of each sales channel and how they work best in a complementary fashion. We are currently rebuilding our online presence, taking an integrated view of our telephone, mail, online and direct sales channels. Our success to date has been based on optimizing our ability within each channel and by working mail with telephone. Now we are beginning to understand the level of improvement possible, by harnessing the power of 1) different media and 2) ensuring our supporters opt in and engage.

Hassan Mouheb
Director, Client Experience Insights
Global Marketing

Tip 10:
The Experience that the Client has is fundamental. So rather than manage only the relationship (which doesn't include branding perception, word of mouth …), I see a clear move towards the Management of the Overall Experience. It starts with the branding experience and then with the purchase process and mindset. Managing the Client Experience is managing your 'first advocate'. Those clients who have an excellent Experience with a brand (or a service or a product) are more willing to provide referrals or to be the advocates of this brand.

Tip 11:
Many to Many approach: Influencing branding perception, customers' behaviour or attitude is effective via social networks, on line communities, blogs, and forums. Therefore we have to manage these experts and influencers who are volatile and less reachable by traditional communication.


Rosetta Stone
Dawn McAvoy
Rosetta Stone®
Director, Institutional Marketing & Operations

Tip 12:
We need to understand that our customers are far more in control than we give them credit for.

Tip 13:
Businesses can adapt and embrace this trend or get left behind.

Tip 14:

Brand and direct marketing can, and should, work together.


CenterPoint Energy
Kelly O’Keefe
Product Manager, HSP Marketing & Sales
CenterPoint Energy

Tip 15:
My number one takeaway is: stop collecting data if you will not use it to improve the customer experience. This statement was made in various sessions and sadly too many times companies had good intentions but an inability to follow through and deliver a personalized experience for their customers. Customers are willing to disclose information because of their desire for relevant communications.

Click here for additional customer relationship management solutions case studies.

We wish you the best of luck in using the Voice-of-Customer-driven 3-Step Marketing Process to achieve double-digit response.

    To read previous newsletters, click here.

    To unsubscribe from this newsletter at anytime, click here.

    For additional case studies, click here.



Click here for additional customer relationship management solutions case studies.

We wish you the best of luck in using the Voice-of-Customer-driven 3-Step Marketing Process to achieve double-digit response.

    To read previous newsletters, click here.
    For additional case studies, click here.

Ernan Roman Direct Marketing | 3 Melrose Lane | Douglas Manor, NY 11363 | Phone: 718.225.4151 | Fax: 718.225.4889
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