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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

Free Marketing Widget for Addressable Media

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

To add the free marketing widget to your web site or blog, just copy and paste the following code into the HTML document where you want it to appear:

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10 Most Useful SalesForce Apps

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009, Salesforcefaq.com 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

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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:

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Have You Seen Your Google Page Rank?

Friday, September 4th, 2009

A higher PageRank (PR) increases the likelihood that your web site will be found by those looking for your products and services. Other factors like relevance and TrustRank are also important, but the PageRank is a primary indicator for web site popularity.

Enter your web site's URL below to find out how you compare (PR values are 1 to 10):

Check Page Rank of any web site pages instantly:
This free page rank checking tool is powered by Page Rank Checker service

Listed below are a few direct marketing sites and their respective page rank. How do you compare?

    • United States Postal Service PR = 8
    • The Direct Marketing Association, PR = 7
    • Acxiom, PR = 6
    • DMNews, PR = 6
    • infoUSA, PR = 6
    • RAPP, PR = 6
    • Valpak, PR = 6
    • Chief Marketer Magazine, PR = 5
    • Merkle, PR = 5 
    • New England Mail Order Association, PR = 5
    • NextMark/mIn, PR = 5
    • Target Marketing Magazine, PR = 5
    • American Catalog Mailers Association, PR = 4
    • ALC, Inc., PR = 4
    • Specialists Marketing Services, PR = 4
    • VT/NH Marketing Group, PR = 4

Feel free to share your Page Rank (PR) in the comments section below.

If you are a marketing services provider and would like to improve your on-line presence and page rank, then email or call me directly to see if you qualify to be added to the Directory of Marketing Services Providers. There is no charge to be included and many direct marketers search our directory to find list brokers, list managers, printers, service bureaus, agencies and more!

Chris DeMartine, Director of Business Development

cdemartine@nextmark.com, (603) 643 – 1307 x114

Twitter gives you “ambient social awareness” and “super powers”

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Jack Dorsey explains Twitter

Check out this interview on Vater.tv with Twitter founder/CEO Jack Dorsey where he explains Twitter to Bambi Francisco.

He recalls the genesis from the "ambient social awareness" he gained by monitoring dispatch services in New York City. He says, "I just found this fascinating because you get this beautiful picture of what's going on in the city."

He calls Twitter a "personal news wire" and a "communications utility." But he cautions that it's not a social network… although one can be built on top of Twitter.

He also explains how Twitter gives you "super powers" though the example of making a mobile phone purchasing decision he made. Watch out Superman, here comes Twitter 😉

Seriously, it's a great interview and gave me much better insight into Twitter. Check it out.

List Management Webinars Available on SlideShare

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

List managers may be taking a hit from major mailer attrition right now, but the future of direct marketing still looks bright. Online channels are exploding to form a paperless playing field for direct marketers, and an increasing number of list managers are joining the game.

In addition to providing free tools to help list marketers with the online promotion of their data cards, NextMark also hosts free webinars for our clients to learn more about measureable list marketing opportunities. The following list marketing webinars were attended by more than 100 managers in 2008:


Many attendees have asked for copies of these presentations, so we posted copies on Slideshare to make them easily accessible. Many of the terms referenced in these presentations are defined in the marketing glossary.

 View cdemartine's profile on slideshare