The second annual ANA Data & Analytics Conference, hosted by American Express, was virtual this year, but its impact and insights were very real. ANA promised the audience would hear from key experts on innovation in data-driven tools and new technologies, personalization, brand and creative techniques founded in neuro-marketing, as well as the latest in compliance and privacy laws. More than 20 of my IWCO Direct colleagues registered for the event, and all who dialed in agreed it was a rousing success.
ANA’s follow-up survey will be the official word on highest-rated session, but the run-away favorite at IWCO Direct was Four Secrets to More Powerful Creative, presented by Brent Niemuth, President & Chief Creative Officer at J. Schmid and Shanie Cunningham, Head of U.S. marketing for Boden U.K. If you missed the session, their secrets are revealed here in 15 words:
- Simple is always better.
- Pack it with personality.
- Create desire.
- Use the power of touch.
Shelley Lunde, Director Solutions Design and Delivery for IWCO Direct, commented, “The four secrets were basic, but for someone who isn’t in the marketing field/space, I was intrigued. I thought it was very interesting listening to the backstory on the creative pieces. In fact, I was so interested in the pieces and her message I Googled their company.”
Another big shout out from the IWCO Direct team goes to our good friend Jason Beck, Director Marketing Communications for Comcast. Jason delivered a case study titled, Personalization at Scale – The Building Blocks of Success. Stefany Frias Daza, Account Coordinator on IWCO Direct’s Marketing Services team, said, “Jason’s presentation had an ‘aha moment’ for me. Not only is he a great presenter and enthusiastic, but I appreciated his Lego comparison. It was great hearing about the ‘copy block strategy’ that our team works with, and reasons why it was created connected the dots for me.”
Chuck La Tournous, Vice President, Marketing for American National Insurance, presented the second case study in the Personalization at Scale session. He did a great job of demonstrating how personalization doesn’t just shine in acquisition campaigns—it keeps on working as a retention, cross-sell, and up-sell tool. The results he presented in the case study proved that direct mail doesn’t just deliver return on investment (ROI), it brings new meaning to “R.”
Bob Dixon, USPS Product Technology Innovation Director, defined what innovation means at the Postal Service in a great discussion with Bill Duggan, Group Executive Vice President for ANA. Four key points emerged from their conversation:
- Augment and complement digital campaigns using direct mail.
- USPS has more tools and services available and can provide more data than ever before.
- Mail is also now considered digital because of the added components to it.
- The USPS’ tools and technology help intersect DM and digital efforts.
ANA Data & Analytics Conference Brought Theory and Tactics Together
The biggest shout out goes to our friends at American Express for embracing the virtual platform for another great panel discussion, and for hosting the conference again. This biggest shout out is shared with ANA for exceeding expectations with their virtual conference platform. As a member of ANA’s Print in the Digital Age executive committee, I know how much planning went into this event. Bravo to all of the presenters, planners, and producers! This summary from Kurt Ruppel, Director Postal Affairs and Marketing Communications for IWCO Direct, said it best, “Very well done. Balanced focus on why to use mail and how to use mail effectively.”
P.S. “Did you participate in the yoga/stretching session?” I included this bonus question on my request for feedback from my IWCO Direct colleagues. One of my favorite responses to the bonus question came from Alan Sherman, VP Marketing Strategy, who said, “No, was kind of watching her out of the corner of my eye and was thinking I should be doing this to relax.” Namasté.
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