Jean Giesmann

In late November, we surveyed the All About ROI editorial board members and other marketing insiders to gauge their views on the year ahead. At press time on the eve of the 2009 holiday homestretch, with their hopes for a better sales outcome than 2008 looking modest at best, few saw an especially bright light shining by December. Instead, many settled in to make the appropriate adjustments for reduced demand.

During a session at the Sept. 16-18 NEMOA Fall Conference in Mashantucket, Conn., a panel of marketers offered up more than 60 rapid-fire pointers and questions on how to survive in “a risky economy.” The panelists included Jean Giesmann, executive creative director for Stony Creek Brands; Chris Bradley, president of Cuddledown of Maine; Sharon Dunn, president of Duncraft; and Glenda Lehman Ervin, vice president of marketing for Lehman’s.

Eight years ago, Terri Alpert reacted to a serious “holy crap!” moment. It was a reaction that set her company, then known as Professional Cutlery Direct, on a far steadier course than it might have wound up. Alpert uttered the exclamation when she realized that, over a period of time, the high-end kitchenware catalog business she launched in 1993 with less than $10,000, which prided itself on exacting product detail and attentive customer service, was now being more or less duplicated by practically every large retailer from New Haven to Nevada. “Things were looking good at that point, too,” says Alpert, founder/CEO of

Top executives from catalogers Acorn Media, Lillian Vernon, Plow & Hearth, The Nailco Group and, were named to the 2007 Catalog Success Editorial Advisory Board, effective this issue. Board members are consulted on a regular basis to help bring forth improvements to the content of the magazine. Incoming board members are Miguel Penella, president of video and gifts cataloger Acorn Media; Mike Muoio, president/CEO of general merchandise cataloger Lillian Vernon; Jean Giesmann, vice president creative services at home and garden products cataloger Plow & Hearth, a unit of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM; Larry Gaynor, president of B-to-B beauty salon supplies cataloger The Nailco Group; and Mike

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