Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.

TOMS Shoes announced a new product category — sunglasses. But the glasses won't be distributed in the same way that TOMS distributes its footwear. Instead, the company will work with the Seva Foundation on sight restoration initiatives in Nepal, Tibet and Cambodia.

After a series of Super Bowl ads caused a wash of bad press for Groupon, the company has cut ties with the ad agency that it says was responsible for the spots. Groupon’s CEO Andrew Mason placed the blame for the commercials — one of which seemed to many to equate the plight of Tibet with saving money on dinner — pointedly on the shoulders of the advertising firm that created the spot, CP&B.

Continuing my list from last week, here’s the second part (tips 8-13) of my rules for CEOs to follow to most effectively manage their direct marketing businesses.
8. Don’t be a negative example. Want your employees to underperform? Come to work sporadically, keep unspecified hours, pull up in a ultra high-end foreign luxury car while your employees drive cars with rust holes, and watch what happens. When your employees lack motivation, blame them, not you. But as a wise old boss I had early in my career told me, “The fish stinks from the head!” Get in before your employees, leave later

Maybe it’s the fact that I live and work (mostly) in Florida — the sun, scam and lazy person’s escape capital of the world. Or maybe it’s just that I’ve worked for so many entrepreneurial companies that “hit” with the right product at the right time — and had no idea how to spark the lightning to strike twice. Or perhaps, it’s because as a consultant I’m usually called in when there are problems (sometimes insurmountable) that need to be fixed, and start-ups that need to be funded.
Or maybe it’s just my dumb luck? Neh!
Be that as it may, I’ve had the

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