April 28, 2009

Vertical (Dis)Integration

Vertical (Dis)Integration A couple years ago, Dave Morgan wrote one of the best thought pieces on the future of the newspaper business in his Mediapost column.  Essentially his observation was that newspapers are an outdated vertical integration, and that to survive, smart papers would disaggregate into 5 separate companies and run each one as a separate business, taking on a new life unshackled from the newspaper:  local ad sales (they could own that franchise for the Yelps and Yodles of the world), local content (who better to syndicate local content?), local distribution (no other companies drop something on every doorstep every day), printing (still a business that requires scale), and digital.  It’s just a brilliant idea. And it’s a shame none of them followed his advice, since they’re all going out of business now. What occurred to me this week as I’m soaking in the goodness that is my new Amazon Kindle is that while newspapers may need to disaggregate to stay alive, Amazon is slowly amassing a strategy of very clever vertical integration that could well fuel its growth for decades to come. The Kindle is brilliant vertical integration — it’s the device, the distribution, and the retail model […]


May 10, 2007

In the Land of Too Many Conferences, This is a Good One

In the Land of Too Many Conferences, This is a Good One It’s rare that I’m sad to leave a conference — usually I can’t leave fast enough.  But such is my mood today leaving Mediapost’s third Email Insider Summit. Our industry is way over-conferenced in general.  I’m guessing that our company’s full conference calendar has 40+ events on it over the course of a year.  It’s more than we can afford to exhibit at, participate in, speak at, attend.  We do our best, and what money we spend is much more carefully monitored and measured than it used to […]


March 28, 2007

Marketing is Like Baskin Robbins

Marketing is Like Baskin Robbins A couple years ago, I wrote that Marketing is Like French Fries, since you can always take on one more small incremental marketing task, just as you can always eat one more fry, even long after you should have stopped. Today, inspired in part by our ongoing search for a new head of marketing at Return Path and in part by Bill McCloskey’s follow up article about passion in email marketing in Mediapost, I declare that Marketing is also like Baskin Robbins – there are at least 31 flavors of it that you have to […]


March 21, 2007

Leaders Discredited from Leading?

Leaders Discredited from Leading? In Bill McCloskey’s Email Insider column on Mediapost today (hopefully the link will work; sometimes Mediapost isn’t open if you’re not a subscriber), he decries the lack of passion and industry evangelists in the email marketing space and compares it to the search world with at least one example involving Dave Pasternack, co-founder and president of Did-It.  He then goes on to say that there are a few evangelists in the email world, but that two of us — myself and Rich Gingras, CEO of Goodmail, don’t count because we “have a vested interest in being […]


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 […]


June 10, 2005

The (Email) Elephant in the Room

The (Email) Elephant in the Room Email marketing continues to be under attack by some members of the media who are looking to stir up melodrama and controversy and seem to be uninterested in or unwilling to look at real metrics from real companies who are enjoying unparalleled success with email. I can’t say this any better than Bill McCloskey from Email Data Source, who writes in MediaPost: The Elephant in the Room that no one is willing to talk about is that Spam is not the problem. The problem is the OVERREACTION to Spam. This overreaction is not something […]


May 25, 2005

Email Articles This Week

Email Articles This Week I know, not a real inspired headline.  There are two interesting articles floating around about email marketing this week.  I have a few thoughts on both. First, David Daniels from Jupiter writes in ClickZ about Assigning a Value to Email Addresses.  David’s numbers show that 71% of marketers don’t put a value on their email addresses.  I think that may be an understatement, but it’s a telling figure nonetheless.  David’s article is right on and gives marketers some good direction on how to think about valuing email addresses.  The one thing he doesn’t address explicitly, though, […]