Another Year, Another Catalog Conference, Another Dog-and-Pony Show, Another Thank You!
I’ll get back to acquiring customers via DRTV next week. In the meantime, it’s that time of year again, readers. Catalog conference time — or to be more precise, Annual Conference for Catalog and Multichannel Merchants (ACCM) time. This year it’s in Orlando, Fla., and despite the conference being a mere two-hour drive up the Florida Turnpike for me, once again, I’m not going.
I had planned to go this year. I even set up some meetings. But then some other meetings took precedence. Truth is, however, I have mixed feelings every year about going.
What I love most about going to the ACCM and other direct marketing events is the camaraderie I feel with industry peers. To me, it’s a chance to reconnect with people I normally don’t get to see throughout the year.
Oddly enough, the people I’ll miss the most are the vendors I’ve worked with over the years. These are the people who’ve allowed me to do my job to the best of my abilities. I truly believe that the job of a direct marketer is just as much externally focused, if not more, as it is internally.
While I’m internally responsible for my objectives and my team, it’s the vendors I choose that can make or break how the results turn out. These folks have saved me more times than I care to recall. They’ve turned me into a hero by keeping my costs in line, met some ridiculously short deadlines at times, found solutions for me that I thought didn’t exist and even played catalog psychotherapist.
And they get very little credit for this. This is why I believe in the term “vendor-partners,” and this week, I salute them.
So to all the people in the printing, design, premedia, service bureau, co-op databases, list brokerages, etc., I’d like to use this forum to thank you for your service and your friendship. (You know who you are.)
As you’re standing on your feet all day at the conference, doing the dog-and-pony show, know that when the parties are over and your bones are aching, what you do makes us better at what we do!
On another note, the thing that I dislike about the big conferences in general is the fact that you’re bombarded with information in a super-short period if time. Some people can do “speed learning.” Personally, I can’t. I like my information and my instructions meted out in slower, smaller increments.
So if you’re not at the conference this year (or even if you are), feel free to continue reading my blog. Certainly this Web site and Catalog Success magazine are great learning resources for you.
Speak to you next week.
Jim Gilbert is president of Gilbert Direct Marketing Inc., a full-service catalog and direct marketing agency. His LinkedIn profile can be viewed at www.linkedin.com/in/jimwgilbert or you can post a comment here or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.