iMedia Agency Summit Winners

Monday, December 3rd, 2012


I was sitting at the right table this evening, where all three prizes (3 out of 3) were awarded after dinner at the iMedia Agency Summit in Scottsdale, AZ. Congratulations to Melissa Hogdgon from Engauge whose name was pulled on the first drawing, and chose to receive the iPad mini. It wasn’t shortly afterwards when two other winners emerged from Melissa’s left and right. Congratulations to Scott Atkinson from RedClay Interactive and Kristen Crabtree from Allied Integrated Marketing, who both walked out with great prizes.

As for me, I’m saving all of my business cards exclusively for Digital Media Planners so they can contact me about the ‘Digital Media Planner Happiness Project‘. I’m not so sure I would have had a chance of winning anyway, as something very strange and statistically incomprehensible was happening across the table.

The conference has been great so far, and there are a lot of independent digital advertising agencies who are ready to give their spreadsheets some steroids with Digital Media Planner.

Why is automation important to digital media directors?

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Here is the presentation I gave this morning to a packed room of 70 media executives at the iMedia Agency Summit at the Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, AZ (super nice place btw!):

I presented our research that shows it costs more than $40k to create and execute a digital media plan and that executing a digital media plan involves a 42-step process. This process seems so ripe for automation with the high cost and labor. However, the Media Planning Tools Survey show of hands survey overwhelmingly concluded that Excel is still the top choice among media pros (as I’ve previously blogged). No surprise there… thankfully, because the rest of my presentation depended on that!

Despite the volume of screen shot slides in the presentation, I did rapid-fire 8-minute flyover of our newest creation: the Digital Media Planner system. We just launched it two days ago. This is the first time I’ve shown it off in public. I thought the iMedia Agency Summit was the perfect venue for the reveal since it is designed specifically for media planners at independent agencies. We structured our development timeline to launch in time for the conference.As always, our fantastic development team hit their dates (we’re big on shipping on time).

Being the first public reveal of the Digital Media Planner, I was afraid nervous nobody would like it. But based on a show of hands survey, virtually everyone did like it. Yay! So, that gave my ego a big boost (although maybe they were just being nice to me because I bought them all breakfast).

Why is automation important?

The main part of the session was to ask the audience the question: “why is automation important?” in digital media planning. Hands went up and I heard lots of smart answers, including roughly in this order:

  1. “profitability – the faster we can get things done, the more business we can take on”
  2. “efficiency – faster workflow – automation makes it easy to make on-the-fly changes quickly”
  3. “streamlining the process”
  4. “minimizes risk and human error”
  5. “media planner happiness”

I was pleasantly surprised that “profitability” was the first answer within two milliseconds. Most think “efficiency” first and business growth comes after a few minutes.  Lack of automation is clearly holding back both the top and bottom line at digital agencies. I’m glad someone answered “happiness” because that’s what it’s all about IMHO (and because I littered the place with “happiness” mugs). You find happiness is the core value of automation when you repeatedly ask why. And that’s why we internally call the development of the Digital Media Planner system, the “Digital Media Planner Happiness Project.”

Besides the free food, everyone at the breakfast got a free limited-edition coffee mug, hand-crafted by me. I created the smiley face image by hand using one of my favorite apps on my iPad – Paper by FiftyThree. Below is a picture of the mug as the group was filing in. It says “digital media planner happiness project” on the other side just like on the title slide of the presentation. Let me know if you want one of these mugs – I made 200 and there will be some left over.

Now it’s time to get outside and enjoy the warm, sunny day here in Scottsdale. Speaking of happiness, I’m very happy they hold these conferences at such beautiful places!

50 Top Web Publishers Tap NextMark’s New Ad Sales Tool

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

NextMark’s new ad sales tool is gaining widespread adoption among leading website publishers: in just two months since its launch, more than 50 publishers representing more than 900 of the hottest websites have signed on to publish data cards with NextMark:

Data cards are basically a “media kit on steroids.”  It’s a fresh concept for digital media adapted from a proven method in offline media. It’s a better way to connect with media planners: data cards make it easy for them to discover your media programs and to include them in their media plans.

Don’t miss your chance to gain a first mover advantage… learn more on the data card publisher page.

Kudos from Consumer Intelligence Group

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

We always appreciate customer feedback. Tanya Rose at Consumer Intelligence Group, a new user of our media planning tool, had this to say about the service:

“Thanks so much!

First campaign went GREAT! I’ve prepared 8 recommendations for my mailers so far and 3 have turned into orders. Your system has been a tremendous asset to our organization!”

Thank you!

DMA Service to the List Industry (Survey Results)

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Last month I created a quick poll on LinkedIn to see how direct marketing professionals felt about the DMA’s (Direct Marketing Association) service to the list industry. There may not be a ‘List Day‘ conference anymore, but almost all of the same folks are still present at the annual DMDays conference. There are list managers, list brokers, and list fulfillment providers lined up on both sides of the aisle. While the DMA has done a very good job in regards to advocacy on behalf of direct marketers, there seems to be less awareness about mailing lists than in times past — or maybe I’m wrong? Let’s look at the results from last month’s poll on LinkedIn.

DMA Service GraphThe overall results are normally distributed with a minor skew towards needing some improvement. It is interesting to note that the female respondents gave the DMA more favorable ratings than the male respondents. Maybe the guys have set higher expectations for the list industry, or maybe we’re just jerks — well I don’t think so, because only 2 of 45 of us voted that the DMA had jumped ship. The response profile (gender) was 54% male and 46 percent female, so there’s no bias in the weighting. Feel free to share these results at DMDays next month, and let Mike Gamson know that we conducted the poll on LinkedIn. 

I Digg NextMark

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

There may be 7.5 million Twitter users following each other around, but I still prefer to Digg NextMark. Twitter outpaced Digg earlier this year, so I guess I'd better start paying more attention to our followers, although there are not that many of them — yet! In the meantime, I must say that the Digg widget below is a really nice feature. You can customize it based on your preferred news content and it will update in real time.

Is that an order entry system in your pocket?

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

NextMark on your Pocket PC

We just got a nice note from a customer, Jim Hall of All That Marketing, that illustrates the flexibility that NextMark’s list brokerage and list order entry systems give to list professionals:

"The thing I like about the NextMark system is the versatility it provides.  It allows me to do my job anywhere in the world.  Last week I was at the Fall DMA Conference in Las Vegas, by logging on to the system via my Pocket PC phone I was able to send out an order, right from the conference hall!  The technology today is amazing and I’m glad my order entry / data card service allows me to provide cutting edge service to my clients. Thanks NextMark!"

And I am glad we were able to help you get that order, Jim!

NextMark proven easier than a mechanical pencil

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008


Joni Frederick just passed along some nice feedback from one of our happy customers, Bob Campbell from MidAmerica Lists:

"I want to congratulate Nextmark on your system. I am the type of person who has trouble putting lead in a mechanical pencil. So navigating around a computer is a test for me. The fact that I can go into Nextmark and update existing and create new datacards is mind boggling to me."

So that proves it: Publishing data cards on NextMark is easier than using a mechanical pencil!

Nextmark is Da Bomb!

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Joni Frederick, Account Director, just forwarded me a nice note from a new customer.  It put a big smile on my face, so I got permission to post it here on our blog (with links to services he mentions):


I just wanted to write you and tell you a few things about Nextmark and my experience so far.

As I told you on the phone, I am an old school list guy.  I had my own company and was one of Genobi’s first clients when he first started working with Rickard.  Then I was with LSDI and was one of the first ones to be exposed to Nextmark when Joe first started.  At that time, the system was clunky and difficult and we did not use it much.  Since then, I have been away from the list business for about 5 years or so.  Now I am back.

I must say that Nextmark is truly Da Bomb!  That is the only way I can put it.  I listed my first data card on Friday and when I came into the office on Monday I had 2 leads!  You have no idea what that means to an old sales guy like me.  It was like finding gold on the front steps.

Then after going through the datacard system and the list search, you gave me the demo of the true power of Nextmark.  And, I mean POWER!  Nextmark is at warp factor 12 and going forward like I had never imagined.  The functionality that you guys have developed is truly an awesome feat comparable to climbing mount Everest.  I know, because I tried (not to climb Everest but to make a list ordering system – with Genobi). 

You have all the bells and whistles a list person could ever want.  The only things I see that I would make suggestions on are truly semantic and have mostly to do with language. 

The merger with MIN is also an exciting aspect.  Your capability of sending data cards to SRDS, DM News etc. is hot hot hot.  What a pain in the butt it used to be to fax to 8 million places.  No more! 

I can also say that your customer service people are wonderful and when I had a problem, it was handled in a more than professional manner.  As far as I am concerned I now consider myself to be a devoted worshiper and follower of Nextmark (kind of like the devoted blood drinking worshipers in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom), and I truly look forward to being with you guys for a long long time.

Oh, I almost forgot the second best part……………………….I got two more leads this morning!


Glenn Weissman
Sr. Marketing Consultant
CGC Consulting Services, Inc.
5175 Performance Drive
Cumming, GA 30040

It’s always nice to get a note like this. We must be doing something right!