March 9, 2015

The Value of a Break

The Value of a Break I’ve written before about our sabbatical policy as well as my experience with my first sabbatical five years ago. I just got back from another sabbatical. This one wasn’t 100% work-free, which breaks our rule, but after a few false starts with it, when I realized a few weeks before it started in January that I either needed to postpone it again or work on a couple of things while I was on a break, I opted for the latter.  The time off was great. Nothing special or too exotic. A couple short trips, and lots of quality time with Mariquita and the kids. Re-reading my post from my last sabbatical now, I realize I have re-learned those same three lessons again — that I love my job, my colleagues, and what we are working on. But I also recognized, in three different ways, the value of a break this time around maybe more than last time.  Maybe it’s that I’m five years older or that I’ve been doing the job for five more years.  Maybe it’s because the last couple of years at work have been incredibly intense and both physically and mentally taxing.  But […]


October 18, 2012

Book Short: the Garage Workbench of the Future

Book Short:  the Garage Workbench of the Future Makers:  The New Industrial Revolution, by Wired Magazine’s Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail (review, buy) and Free (review, buy) is just as mind expanding as his prior two books were at the time they were published. I had the pleasure of talking with Chris for a few minutes after he finished his keynote address at DMA2012 in Las Vegas this week, and I was inspired to read the book, which I did on the flight home.  The short of it is that Anderson paints a very vivid picture of the […]


July 12, 2012

Marketing Data: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Marketers have blinders on when it comes to some aspects of data. We‘re so focused on using it to build relationships and businesses, that we don’t pay enough attention to data’s inherent risks. Those risks are real, though. Our brands are constantly under attack, and even trivial oversights in data handling can leave us—and our customers—unacceptably vulnerable. We need to better understand the risks. We need to know more. If marketers don’t develop industrywide expertise in all aspects of data use, if we can’t demonstrate that we can be trusted stewards of information, we risk losing our rights to use […]


February 25, 2010

New Blog of Note in the Direct Marketing World

New Blog of Note in the Direct Marketing World Gene Raitt, Chairman of the DMA, has launched a new blog today called DM Unplugged.  It’s not an official DMA property.  Gene won’t be the only contributor — over time, other DMA board members (including me) and thought leaders in the direct and interactive marketing communities at large — will contribute as well. This is one small, though notable, development in a series of things the DMA is working on as it transforms itself.  Look for some truly “unplugged” commentary on this blog about both things happening in the industry and […]


October 21, 2009

Why I joined the DMA Board, and what you can expect of me in that role

Why I joined the DMA Board, and what you can expect of me in that role I don’t normally think of myself as a rebel. But one outcome of the DMA’s recent proxy fight with Board member Gerry Pike is that I’ve been appointed to the DMA’s Board and its Executive Committee and have been labeled “part of the reform movement” in the trade press. While I wasn’t actively leading the charge on DMA reform with Gerry, I am very enthusiastic about taking up my new role. I gave Gerry my proxy and support for a number of reasons, and […]


December 7, 2005

The Rumors of Email’s Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, Part V

The Rumors of Email’s Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated, Part V Thank goodness I can finally write a positive piece under this headline, and not a rebuttal like I did here, here, here, and here. It seems like there are signs of an email marketing renaissance left, right, and center these days.  First, the industry has enjoyed significant growth this year.  Every vendor I speak with in the space except for one or two is posting record numbers — whether they sell data, technology, or services.  And lots of vendors have been swallowed up by larger multi-channel CRM or DM […]