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Two NCDM conferences merged

The Direct Marketing Association and co-producer DIRECT magazine announced they have combined the National Center for Database Marketing summer and winter conferences into one annual show. The combined NCDM show, which serves the database marketing community, will now be held in winter. NCDM 2005 will take place Dec. 12-14 at the Walt Disney World Dolphin in Orlando. The DMA said attendees and exhibitors are better served by one show. In recent years, industry scuttlebutt suggested the summer show's attendance had steadily declined. The DMA does not release attendee statistics for NCDM conferences.

Telemarketing tops for sales leads

The Direct Marketing Association's third annual report on direct marketing response rates showed that telephone, dimensional mail, e-mail and coupons had the best response rates for generating leads. Telephone led with a 5.53% response rate. Dimensional mail had a 5.28% response rate, and e-mail, 3.39%. Telephone marketing led response rates for direct-order purchases at 5.78%, about the same as 5.73% in 2004. Dimensional mail response rates ranked second at 2.30%, while catalog response rates came in third at 2.18%. The research is based on data from 570 campaigns in 21 industries spanning 19 distinct direct response media channels, including direct mail, e-mail, search marketing and outbound telemarketing.

DM companies plan more hiring

Eighty percent of direct marketing companies plan to hire more workers this fall, which is the highest level since 2001, according to Bernhart Associates Executive Search's quarterly direct marketing employment survey. In addition, the hiring level for fall is up 20% compared with fall 2004. "Database and analytics have been category leaders all year, and they still lead the way among the jobs that will be in highest demand during the fourth quarter, followed closely by sales and customer service," said Jerry Bernhart, president of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, in a statement. Nine percent of companies reported hiring freezes will continue; 6% said they plan to reduce head counts by the end of the year.

DMA announces executive changes

The Direct Marketing Association announced two executive changes in central marketing and communications. Alan Kuritsky has been promoted to VP-marketing & communications and CMO, from VP-marketing and member communications. Lou Mastria has been appointed VP-interactive & emerging media. He was previously VP-public & media relations. Both executives report to Ramesh Lakshmi-Ratan, senior VP-membership and market development.

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