ICO Cookie Monster Strikes Tomorrow

Friday, May 25th, 2012

May 25, 2012

On May 26, 2011, a new web privacy law came into effect in the United Kingdom (UK). The UK was first of the 27 European Union (EU) states to bring their laws in line with the directive intended to protect the privacy of individuals within the EU. With an understanding that there is work to be done and technical issues to resolve, the UK Government extended a one-year grace period for web sites to comply with the new regulations.

Well, the time as come! Effective tomorrow, the grace period is over and the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) will be authorized to impose fines of up to £500,000 — heavy!. In theory, all web sites that serve UK visitors would be subject to this legislation. In reality however, it will be very hard to pursue a case against companies with no legal presence in the EU.

While a few organizations may be looking to leverage web server locations as a scapegoat, it is the location of the legal entities that the enforcement agencies will be focused on– the web host locations won’t matter. There are many types of cookies and forms of consent, so the rules can get pretty complicated. So before you decide to cuddle with the cookie monster, consider that he can complicate your life and confine your business. For example, the legislation does not require consent for cookies to be used in situations defined as ‘strictly necessary’ — but what does that mean? As currently clarified, if a user has placed an order online, then it’s implied by the user’s initial request that permission be granted without further consent to interfere with the transaction. This is just one example of an exemption to the consent requirement, and there are likely to be many more as the battle continues. Very few precedents have been set, so it will be interesting to watch the progression in Europe — and to compare and contrast with the ‘Do Not Track’ agendas in the United States.

To further complicate the legislative implications, take a peek at the definition of “Consent” as noted in the Open letter on the UK implementation of Article 5(3) of the e-Privacy Directive on cookies: “Consent” is defined in the Data Protection Directive as “any freely given specific and informed indication of his wishes.” Note that there are no time constraints associated with this definition, and no specification that the consent must be “prior consent”. Therefore, it is possible that consent may be given after or during processing.

While a few of us may start to feel better about our online privacy, and I’d expect virtually none from the online marketing communities, this legislation has negative implications. The efforts required to acquire informed consent on the use of cookies are likely to be costly for web site owners and businesses. Non-compliant web site owners will have an advantage as well, because their users will not be faced with questions that interfere with their browsing and buying activities.

Is the EU agenda overkill? Why can’t we just rely on innovative solutions that work with our browsers, like Ghostery for instance, to give us better insight and control?

To learn more about online behavioral advertising using cookies, take a look at the video below from Christina Tsuei at The Wall Street Journal. This was created back in 2010, but still very relevant and helpful for understanding how cookies work.

Widgets for Mailing Lists?

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

While renting response lists for a direct marketing campaign may be a complicated process, the acquisition process for compiled lists is pretty simple nowadays. Companies like LeadsPlease have actually automated and ‘widgetized’ the mailing list selection and purchase process online. Tools like this are great for local businesses looking to target specific zip codes with a saturation mailing. There’s no need to over-complicate that process, since the data is compiled and, unlike with response data, there are minimal requirements for list owner approval.

If you are a list or data compiler and would like assistance with this kind of integration, let us know and we’ll work with you to get connected.

The DataWidget

The DataWidget

List Industry White Paper

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

While mailing lists are the lifeblood of direct mail marketing campaigns, the data acquisition process is outmoded. Therefore, NextMark commissioned research to better understand the core issues related to list acquisition and list fulfillment. The Evolution of List Fulfillment is the first whitepaper of its kind, leveraging the combined experience of seasoned direct marketing professionals (list brokerage and management executives), with technological expertise (NextMark) and qualified third-party editorial (Ray Schultz).

Click here to download your free copy of this list industry white paper.

Special thanks to all who contributed to this research product including:

Ray Schultz, President, TellAllMarketing

Lenny Medico, Senior Vice President of List Management, Lake Group Media

Ben Perez, former CEO of Millard Group

Fran Green, President of SMART Data Solutions, ALC

Pete Carney, CEO, Carney Direct Marketing

Geoff Batrouney, Executive Vice President, Estee Marketing Group

David Schwartz, President, Executive Confidential Organizational Consultants

Mary Jo Yafchak, Vice President of Product Management, Acxiom

Don Hinman, Senior Vice President, Epsilon Targeting

Mark Zilling, Senior Vice President, MeritDirect

Charles Morgan, former CEO, Demographics, Inc.

Tom Berger, CEO, Cross Country Computer

Mitch Rubin, CEO, Applied Information Group

David Kanter, President, AccuList USA

Eric Smith, CEO, ListFusion/DataTree

John Papalia, CEO, Statlistics

Carolyn Woodruff, Senior Broker

James Johnson, Advisor, International Direct Response

Lon Mandel, CEO, Specialists Marketing Services

Robert Sher, Principal, RK Sher & Associates

Marlies Duke, Vice President, 4Cite Marketing, LLC

10 Most Useful SalesForce Apps

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009, updated a list of the AppExchange’s 10 most useful apps of SalesForce. The list provides the application name, publisher, price, and a brief description for each application. The NextMark lead finder was ranked second right behind Salesforce for Google AdWords.

  1. Salesforce for Google AdWords
  2. A+ Lead Finder by NextMark
  3. DataSynch QuickBooks Edition
  4. Sales Activity Dashboard
  5. SalesGenius
  6. Jigsaw
  7. Sales KPI Dashboard 1.0
  8. Share Now
  9. MapQuest for AppExchange 1.0
  10. Lead and Opportunity Management Dashboards


Installing the Mailing Lists Search Tool

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

To add the mailing lists search tool to your web site and provide your visitors with access to over 60,000 mailing lists, just copy and paste the following code into the HTML document where you want the search tool to appear:


Ellison Explains Cloud Computing

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Cloud Computing is the the buzz of the IT industry. In this 5-minute video, Larry Ellison of Oracle hilariously debunks the novelty of Cloud Computing and explains what this vapor is really made of:

I am not an Ellison fanboy, but I have to give him credit for driving the Network Computer concept a dozen years ago. It did not fly at the time, but it seems history will show he was ahead of his time.

For the inquiring reader, yes NextMark's applications are fully Cloud Compliant ;-).  Seriously, since our founding in 1999 every application we've built has been on the Software as a Service (SaaS) model… also known as on-demand computing, utility computing, other names, and most recently Cloud Computing.

The main theme in all these buzzwords is you don't have to hassle with building and maintaining software applications and the infrastructure needed to keep them up and running.  This saves you lots of time and money. But the biggest benefit is letting you focus on your core business!

Top 100 Social Media Cheat Sheet for Business

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Social marketing is on the rise and it’s here to stay. Are you still trying to figure out how to leverage social media for your business? You can start by learning the language with definitions from the marketing glossary, and then use this cheat sheet as a reference for most commonly used tools.

A few months ago a cheat sheet was introduced as a tool to help marketers get organized with Web 2.0 and social media marketing. Many new services have emerged since then. Therefore, several of those respective web sites have been added to this page as a quick reference linking to 100 free social marketing resources and online directories.

Bookmark this page or add it to your favorite places for quick and easy access to several of the top services by category. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list, and some of these sites may not be the top choices internationally. However, it is a valuable resource for leveraging many of the top networks in the U.S., and can help you gain some international exposure as well.

Basic services must be free to qualify for inclusion on the top 100 list below. For your convenience, each title is linked directly to the respective site’s home page. I hope you will find this to be a helpful resource for your business. Feel free to connect with me (DeMartine) on LinkedIn if you would like to share other resources that are available online.

Linkedin Facebook Twitter Delicious Digg Reddit StumbleUpon


Free Social Media Resources (Top 100)

Aggregation Tools (5):  Bloglines, FriendFeed,, Lijit, YouBundle

Blogs (7):, Blogger, Livejournal, Posterous, Tumblr, Typepad, WordPress

Blog Directories (10):  Blogapedia, Blogarama, BlogCatalog, Blogdirs, Blog Flux, BloghubBlog Listing, Blogtoplist, BritBlog, Technorati

Bookmarks (12):  Delicious, Digg, Diigo, FarkMixx, MyBlogLog, Newsvine, Propeller, Reddit, Slashdot, StumbleUponYahoo! Buzz

Comment Systems (2):  DISQUS, IntenseDebate

Free Directory Listings (25):  Akama, Bateekh, BizHWY, Cardboard, CrunchBase, DMOZ, EVliving, GetFreeListing, Google Local, IllumiRate, Jayde, Jigsaw, Librarians’ Internet Index, Little Web Directory, Manta, MerchantCircleNextMark, Simple DirectorySpoke, SuperPages, Tradevibes, TurnPike, WebBuyersGuide, Web World, Yahoo! Local

Marketing Trends (2):  Google Trends, Universe Trends

Name Checks (2):  Namechk, Usernamecheck

Post Documents (3):  eHow, Google Docs, Scribd

Post Presentations (3):  AuthorSTREAM, Myplick, Slideshare

Post Videos (2):  Vimeo, YouTube

Press Releases: (4):  i-Newswire,, PressReleasePoint,

Publish Articles (5):  ArticleDashboardArticles FACTORY, Ezinearticles, IdeaMarketers, Yahoo Articles Group

Social Networks (8):  Biznik, Crowdvine, Facebook, LinkedIn, Ning, NowPublic, Plaxo, Viadeo

Twitter Tools (5):  GraderPing, TweetDeck, TweetLater, Twitter

URL Shorteners (4):  bit.lydoiop, memurl, TinyURL

Wikis (3):  Pbwiki, Wetpaint, Wikipedia

Tip:  Since PageRank is important to your exposure on the Google search engine results page (SERP), you may want to check out the page rank for each of these services as well. That can be done for free online by using the PageRank Checker (higher = better).

Tip:  adding your blog to the directories can improve your search rankings and exposure; the same is true for your web site and your business. That’s the reason for including 35 directory listings (25 free directory listings + 10 blog directories) in the top 100. You only need to do it once, so take advantage of them.

Question:  Web 3.0 is to  ?   as Web 2.0 is to social media…

Your feedback is welcome!


15 URL shorteners to choose from – which is right for you?

Monday, April 13th, 2009

The rise in Twitter's popularity has spurred the rise in popularity of another technology, URL shorteners. Twitter's 140-character limit on messages does not leave much room for a long URL. Thus the need for a URL shortener.

For example, in a recent tweet by NextMark (twitter @nextmark) on the 1q09 results of the data card quality report, the URL (84 characters – more than half the allowed message length) was shortened to (only 18 characters!):


But not all URL shorteners are created equal. In fact, some URL shorteners, like Diggbar, are considered evil. There are a surprising number of issues to consider when choosing an URL shortening service. You could certainly roll your own and have full control. But there are plent of good commercially available solutions available for free. Danny Sullivan does a great job of summarizing your options in his article "URL Shorteners: Which Shortening Service Should You Use?"

Update: One that was not on Sullivan's list: is also evil. This one followed the lead of Diggbar by pointing to the website with the destination site in their wrapper.

This brings up the good point that URL shortener services can change their software at any minute. Today they do a 301 redirect (good) and tomorrow they point to their website with your site in their wrapper (really evil), which steals your "link juice", screws up your analytics, and generally undermines your business. Be very careful of these services.

My advice to you: roll your own URL shortener if you have the skillz in house. It's not that hard. Or do your homework and pick a service that is good now and won't switch schemes down the road (get that in writing).

Prepared For The Storm?

Friday, December 12th, 2008

According to, the ice storm hit New England hard today.

"An ice storm knocked out power Friday to 1.25 million homes and businesses from Maine to Pennsylvania, closing schools and tying up travel, and authorities say it could take days for all customers to get service back."

A few of the hardest hit areas were not far from leading direct marketing service providers. Here's a count of power outages posted just a couple minutes before noon this morning:

  • NH — 326,000
  • MA — 350,000
  • ME — 203,000
  • VT — 31,000
  • CT — 16,000

    A state of emergency was declared by the Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick, while the Eagle Tribune reported the following observations:

    "A power outage that resulted when two trees fell on power lines on Great Pond Road lasted in some cases nearly 12 hours and affected 750 utility customers, a National Grid spokeswoman said."

    "It chopped the pole in half and took the wires down," North Andover police Sgt. Thomas McEvoy said of the incident."

    Fortunately for NextMark users, all of our list research, order processing, and financial systems performed without interruption. This continuity would not have been possible without our data center's rigorous commitment to ensuring an optimal environment with uninterrupted power and network connections. Here are just a few of the benefits that help our clients sleep at night:

    • N + 1 redundancy for virtually guaranteed continuous operation
    • State-of-the-art fire suppression systems  
    • Multiple points of entry, control systems, and backup generators for delivering uninterrupted power to the equipment
    • Diverse power routes and redundant switching infrastructure for ensuring optimized connections – both in terms of speed and performance
    • Multiple levels of physical and logical security measures for a secure environment

     Navisite D Navisite B    

    In the time of disaster, NextMark and mIn employees may be working in the dark with a cold cup of coffee, but your mailing list research and order processing solutions will be up and running – rest assured.

  • web 2.0 – what is it?

    Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

    Many in the marketing world are trying to understand web 2.0.  There’s no consensus on what exactly Web 2.0 is, except that it’s transformative.  This video produced by Dr. Michael Wesch at Kansas State’s Anthropology department is the most compelling description I’ve seen so far (be sure to turn up the volume for the full experience):

    Web 2.0 will transform culture in many ways.  How will Web 2.0 transform marketing?  It’s evolving quickly.  What do you think?