NCDM 2008 Recap: The Key Concepts All Multichannel Marketers Must Know
Having attended many of the sessions and keynotes at the 2008 National Center for Database Marketing (NCDM) conference in Kissimmee, Fla., last week, I came away with three key points that proved to be the overriding themes of the three-day event.
1. Know me and be relevant. During the first day’s keynote speech, Tom Boyles, SVP of global customer managed relationships for the Walt Disney Co., posited that relevance isn't enough anymore. Disney achieves true one-to-one communication by connecting and engaging its customers and prospects emotionally to its products.
To achieve this, Disney's taken its databases and developed what it calls a “real-time automated decision engine,” which drives its campaigns and all contact between its customers (who are called “guests”) and its staff and brand.
Disney strives for, and achieves, a high level of personalization in its marketing messages and customers’ experiences by collecting data at basically any and all contact points. It then uses that data to create specialized to-dos, maps, DVDs, welcome mailers and other things relevant to past behavior in sync with the actual life stages of its guests.
2. Engagement is the new black. If there were a single concept to rise to the top this year, it would be the idea of engagement. As with Disney, all companies to some extent try to use their data to effectively engage their prospects and customers better.
Additionally, many companies now embrace blogs; viral campaigns; and other social media outlets such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook more than ever before. Some are succeeding, but it became clear that this emerging “technology” has some pitfalls — negative comments resulting in brand degradation to name one — along with benefits.
One thing is certain: While it's possible to track ROI for social media through clicks, visits and even downstream orders, the measurement of engagement (and engagement itself) is something that hasn't been mastered yet.
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.