Letters to the Editor

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

Re: Loose Cannon: Eighty Five Million New DMers Could Use A Handout, Direct Newsline, Monday Sept. 22, 2008 (http://directmag.com/opinions-columnists/loosecannon/loose-cannon-new-dmers-use-handout-0922/)

Gee, maybe these new DMers will have to start hiring staff 🙂

Jerry Bernhart
Principal
Bernhart Associates Executive Search LLC
Owatonna, MN

* * * * * * * *

Your very thoughtful comments on the newly-created “buy now” group of eBay sellers made me wonder whether we were seeing the birth of “the next great idea”, rather than a mere change in eBay marketing methods.

I remember in the 1980, our lady purchasing agent at my direct mail employer told us that there was a new machine that permitted us to send pages of documents over our own telephone lines. We had two offices, and she told us that we could install a phone connection to permit us to transmit printed information from one of our two local offices to another.

It would save a twenty-minute drive to deliver memos and client proposals from one office to another.

We installed it and we liked it, not ever realizing at the that world-wide fax machine had just been invented.

Transmitting data by private, dedicated phone lines was the next miracle to be created with new technology. Donnelley marketing, one of the largest purveyors of 80 million household database names for mailers, put us online for direct purchases, from our telephone to theirs. We could enter their own database to search for list counts and demographic selections.

Also long before the Internet, Marketing Information Network (mailing lists) set up telephone computer connections so we could order data cards describing over 25 million mailing lists, and download ourselves. Previously we had telephoned for this information from hundred of individual list owners, and received the data cards by mail.

Content firm like AOL created their own online connections’ I’d receive frequent emails from Steve Case, the CEO, that AOL would someday be available on the Internet. When asked “when,” Mr. Case kept emailing us: “It’s coming! It’s coming soon.”

As Columbus first said, “You can’t stop progress.” Or as the Erie Canal people said, “How could they beat our service with balloons?”

Fred Morath
Fred Morath Direct Marketing
Natick, MA

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