DM Vet Dunn Offers Her Best Practices
Among the assorted direct and online marketing trade groups, large and small, national and regional, the Hudson Valley Direct Marketing Association (HVDMA), which holds frequent get-togethers in Westchester and Fairfield counties in the New York metropolitan area, has a knack for finding speakers who can closely relate to its audience. At its most recent luncheon last week in Greenwich, Conn., this small group invited direct marketing veteran JoAnne Monfradi Dunn, president/CEO of the Brewster, N.Y.-based database services firm Alliant Cooperative Data Solutions, to give her views of the direct marketing world and assorted pointers.
Dunn’s come a long way since getting her start at a Washington, D.C.-based insurance firm. As she told the 50 or so members on hand, she’s spent a number of years at several companies in her career, made her mark and moved on. Emphasizing the need to be proactive rather than reactive, her résumé illustrates just that, starting with her “escape” from that insurance firm upon learning that her boss was involved in an insurance scandal. She got out of there before the man wound up serving two years in prison.
Dunn got her real start in direct marketing as a “statistical typist” at Time-Life Books. There, she not only learned statistics, but also eventually found herself acquiring 120 million names from lists per year for Time-Life. She’d later start the Norman Rockwell Museum catalog in Stockbridge, Mass., mentored by Stockbridge’s most famous cataloger, Lee Williams of Country Curtains. She later got into list management before eventually launching Alliant in the early 2000s.
In the luncheon’s informal setting, peppered by questions from HVDMA Vice President Sheryl Benjamin (from list firm Direct Media) as well as the audience, Dunn offered several tips:
On Good Hiring
* Hire the best people you can, and develop them the best you can, Dunn said.