By Ken Kraetzer
cbsi Services attended the Direct Marketing Association annual October conference held in Boston – relabeled @Then – to reflect the changes in direct sales provided by the Digital Age. We had a chance to talk with several of the speakers, sponsors and leadership:
Lianne Wade of Westwood, MA based Wilde Agency commented why the August 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was so successful, “The Ice Bucket Challenge resonated with people, it was something fun, it was meaningful, and it was simple, it caught on very quickly, it just gained momentum, it was one of those things sometimes you never know why things go viral, but there are certain components such as positivity, a great charity, even though it was a charity that people did not know about, and a sense of community and that power of community really comes through.”
Detroit based Campbell Ewald won the “Diamond Echo Award” for a special campaign they created for a longstanding client the United States Navy, “We were trying to get out the word, that the Navy needed code breakers, but they are very top secret, so we had to do in a smart interesting way, what better way to go and recruit these types of people who represent a (tiny) percentage of the US population, but to send out cryptic messages, to create an alternate reality game, sending messages disguised as a mission” commented Creative Director Eric Olis who added “We created a story line, where there was a top secret weapons guy who got kidnapped, and a Navy person snuck aboard and she is a cryptologist, sending out cryptic messages involving puzzles and top secret messages where people had to solve the puzzles over a 19 day course”.
The new opportunities in Cuba were described by Jason Burby of the mult-nationals agency www.Possible.com who was there recently for a company planning meeting, “Cuba was an amazing experience, we went down there to be inspired, to learn about the culture, to see some of the amazing arts and creative, what we found was, very warm people, very welcoming people, clearly a country in transition, up to a few years ago, you could not have a private restaurant, all the restaurants were government run, about eight years ago they opened it up so people could put restaurants in their homes. You are seeing what this means to the people as they are starting to make money in different ways, it was incredibly inspiring, it was beautiful, the arts are thriving and the people are wonderful.”
Nick Worth, Chief Marketing Officer of automation platform provider Selligent, “The key for marketers is to give them an opportunity to provide them with powerful technologies, that they can understand and use themselves, and not be dependent on technology teams, to access powerful tools sets, to make communciations with customers contextual and personal”.
An optimist forecast for fourth quarter Holiday Sales, Jim Fosina of Fosina Marketing commented, “A year ago were talking about one of the strongest fourth quarters we have every seen, again this year, we are seeing an even stronger fourth quarter year over year, and we are ssing a much bigger market for direct to consumer marketing. We are forecasting a very strong fourth quarter and a 2016 that is going to be a year that direct marketers have not seen in a very long time.”
“This is a rebranding of the event”, commented DMA CEO Tom Benton, “It is brand new, a lot of new things, we did a lot of research, we shortened the event to two and a half days, we took the resources and improved the content, added lots of new things. The “Hot Zone”, a competition for start-ups to come in and have a spot on the show room floor, we had 15 startups from the US, two guys flew in from Singapore just to come to the event, it is bringing new innovative content to the marketers, it is revitalizing the event. We had a hub in the center of the floor, with a circular stage and “Ted” like talks throughout the event, it was a real success everyone liked that. Our speakers Blake Mycoskie of Toms Shoes, Kevin Roberts from Saatchi and Saatchi, and of course John Legend wrapping up”.