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Return on Intelligence

By Jim Gilbert

About Jim

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.

 

Catalog Doctor

Susan J. McIntyre
Fun and Profit From Your Square Inch Analysis Report
Aug 12, 2014

Planning your spring catalog? Your "sqinch" (aka square inch analysis) report is one of your most important tools. And more...



The Art of Delivering Style

Maria Haggerty
5 Ways Retailers Can Compete With Amazon’s Same-Day Delivery Model
Aug 12, 2014

Most small retailers lack the resources and store footprint to handle same-day shipping on their own. However, it's still possible...



Email Marketing Bites

Liz Ryan
The Email Hierarchy of Needs: Deliverability is the Foundation
Jun 18, 2014

If you're not getting the most of your email messaging, you might not be asking the right questions. How many...



Designed to Convert

Tim Ash
Local Optimization Drives Conversions, But Your Local Page Won’t
Jul 31, 2014

Local was already in play before the iPhone changed the online marketing game in 2007, but the mobile shift has...



Email Applied

Reggie  Brady
Subject Lines That Work
Jul 18, 2014

Standing out in the inbox isn't easy. A lot of promotional emails I receive have subject lines that aren't special....



Return on Inventory

Joe Palzkill
Inventory Success Requires Systems, People and Process
Jul 16, 2014

  Often, while working with Direct Tech's current and prospective customers, I'll hear the age-old question: "Can't the system just do that?" If...



ThinkAbout: Inspirational Verve for Your Product Line!

Andrea Syverson
Springboard From Your Brand Filter
Jun 26, 2014

One of the most important ways I strengthen my clients’ brands and product lines is by collaborating with their leaders...



Print-Plus

Stephen Lett
The Real Driver of Catalog Circulation
Jun 20, 2014

Print catalog circulation is starting to increase for a number of reasons. First, mailing a catalog drives business to the...



Shipping Insights

Rob Martinez
Attention FedEx and UPS Ground Shippers: New Carrier Policies Amount to Largest Rate Increase Ever!
Jun 19, 2014

By now it's likely you've heard that both FedEx and UPS are revising pricing policies for ground packages, moving from...



Retail Revelations

Melissa Campanelli
’Tis the Season for Experienced Retail Sales Associates
Nov 15, 2013

Many retailers are preparing for the busy holiday shopping days ahead by making sure their websites are working properly, their...



B-to-B Insights

George Hague
2 Must-Have B-to-B Metrics
Apr 9, 2014

Smart CEOs know two essential B-to-B metrics to successfully grow their businesses: contribution per order (CPO) for new customers and...



Retail Rants & Raves

Joe Keenan
Tips for Customizing the Online Shopping Experience
Nov 8, 2013

In an effort to give you a sneak peek into the upcoming Retail Online Integration webinar, One Size Does NOT...



LinkedIn Publishing Platform: User Review, Tips and Some Wishes for its Next Iteration, Part 3

This week in the third and final part of this series, I offer suggestions for how LinkedIn's publishing platform can be improved upon for its next iteration. While I really love the message amplification I'm getting using LinkedIn Publisher, I think it can get even better.  Here are some things I would love to see in the platform's next update:  Read More >>

LinkedIn Publishing Platform: User Review, Tips and Some Wishes for its Next Iteration, Part 2

Without sounding too clumsy, being a thought leader in your industry is a good thing. In online retailing, it's about building a buzz around your brand, products or service. The easiest way to build thought leadership is to generate content for your target market that resonates. Here are some tips to help you get your message read by a wide audience on Linkedin:   Read More >>

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LinkedIn Publishing Platform: User Review, Tips and Some Wishes for its Next Iteration, Part 1

LinkedIn's new publishing platform is in the roll-out stage. It gives LinkedIn members the ability to create long-form posts similar to blog posts. Users create posts like they would a status update on the top of their personal page. High-quality posts can receive thousands of views, plus likes, comments and shares on other social platforms, thus amplifying the message exponentially. I've been very pleased with the results I've seen in the two-and-a-half months I've been using the...  Read More >>

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How to Avoid Facebook’s New Feed Spam Trap

Changes have been rolling out on the top social media networks: Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter. For Linkedin and Twitter, these changes are beneficial; for Facebook, they will help in the long run, but for many marketers it will be an adjustment. Here are three ways to get in trouble with your Facebook business posts. Make sure all admins in your organization are aware of these ASAP:

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2 Simple Ways to Become a Social Media Thought Leader and Build Your Following

Today I begin a new series about social media marketing. The goal is to help you become more adept at getting exposure for your business, or yourself for that matter. For this installment, I focus on general tips. As I get deeper into the series, I'll get specific to individual platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.). These social media marketing tips can be used anywhere. Want to become a thought leader in your industry? Start (as I did) with these steps:  Read More >>

Branding and Management #Fail: What Does Ruth’s Chris Steak House Have to Do With Moe’s Southwest Grill?

There's an old marketing adage that goes like this: How many drops of pee does it take to ruin the punch? The answer naturally is just one. I recently visited Ruth's Chris Steak House in my hometown for a family dinner. The service was excellent, the food was just OK … but that's not the story!

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A Guide to Disaster Planning for Your Business

As I sit here stuck in a hotel room in North Carolina while it snows for the second day in a row, I realized it was time once again for my annual guide to disaster planning for your business. Is your business ready for a natural disaster or severe weather? Here are some tips that I've published over the years based on firsthand experience. (I live in Florida, so I've seen a few hurricanes, floods, tornados and other severe weather.)   Read More >>

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Facebook: Marketing's Greedy, Petulant Child

My congratulations to Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and his staff on its 10th birthday. As a consumer, I enjoy the social networking site as a connection portal to my friends and family. For that it is invaluable. However, as a marketer who has been there since Facebook business pages began, I really hope that the next 10 years of Facebook becomes more business-centric.  

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Much Ado About Marketing: Another Year, Another DMA Conference

Every year there's a different focus to the Direct Marketing Association's Annual Conference. This morning I'm heading out to Chicago to witness the spectacle once again. And once again (if you pardon the shameless self-promotion), I'll be presenting my session, The 9 Immutable Laws of Social Media Marketing. My session is part of the DMA's "Back by Popular Demand" series. In truth, I haven't read much about DMA13. Frankly, I want to be surprised.  Read More >>

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Why I Love LinkedIn’s Skills Endorsement Feature

 

You may have noticed over the last few months that when you look at a person's LinkedIn profile, you're asked, "Does ‘Joe Blow’ have <insert these skills here> skills or expertise?" It's a blue box at the top of your screen, you can't miss it. Or you may have received an email telling you that you've "been endorsed for specific skills." This is a great feature on Linkedin, and here's why:

 

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Slinging Some Hash(tags) on Facebook

I'll keep this post short and sweet. Recently Facebook finally did something right for us marketers by opening its network for #hashtags. Frankly, it's about time it did something right. Facebook has been losing ground as a marketing platform — well, maybe it was never even meant to be a marketing platform — but be that as it may, it's done much to disconnect brands from their hard-won fans.  Read More >>

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How Call Tracking Can Make or Break Your Next Marketing Campaign

 

It's come to my attention that you may not be tracking your business fully, and therefore are missing many good marketing and advertising opportunities. By fully tracking I mean tracking all calls that come into your call center, especially all campaign-related calls. There are simple, inexpensive online tools that enable you to track your service calls. 

 

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Turning a Negative Into a Positive: A Corporate Culture Odyssey

I've been on-site with a client for the last two weeks. We're in the middle of a turnaround on a 45-plus-year-old brand that was once the world leader in its industry. Today, due to competition and other factors, the company's image is "dusty" and in need of a major boost. Here are some great takeaways I've learned from this brand over the past two weeks:  Read More >>

7 Customer Service Tactics to Copy From Apple

Over the years I've called Apple maybe 30 times. Never a bad experience. Just easygoing people happy to help me with my problems, who always took the time to get it right — even called me back if I got disconnected. A vastly different experience than I've had trying to call other companies. So what can marketers take away from Apple?

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6 Tips to Capture Every Site Visitor

One of the universal truths I see is a lack of understanding by many marketers, from newbie to experienced, of what their website is really for. I know, I know, marketers always say the right thing: It's about conversion. When I look at their website and ask them what their site conversion rate is, I hear them proudly state, "I convert 2 percent, look how good I'm doing!" (And of course some marketers don't even know what their site conversion rate is.)

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