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Direct Response Marketing

Field Reports

1 Jun, 2008 By: Thomas Haire, Jacqueline Renfrow Response

SAN DIEGO — Benjamin Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, kicked off Response Expo 2008 with an inspiring keynote address on May 6 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.

The conductor since the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra's formation 30 years ago, Zander has also taught music for 42 years at the New England Conservatory and co-authored — with his wife Rosamund — the best-selling book "The Art of Possibility." He enthusiastically delivered a message of possibility, vision and leadership to more than 400 direct response marketing executives.

"Every time you open your mouth, it's an opportunity for leadership," said Zander.

Getting the crowd up and motivated almost immediately, Zander had the group singing "Happy Birthday" to one lucky attendee — not just with their voices, but with their entire bodies. He then went on to demonstrate to the crowd that anyone could love classical music, saying that it was just up to the leaders — whether in music or in business — to never doubt the capacity of the people they are leading. "In any decision you make in life, you can choose resignation, anger or possibility," said Zander. "My job is to remind the players of the rhythm of possibility."

Erik Qualman, global vice president of marketing for EF Educational Tours, one of the Expo's featured speakers, exclaims, "The keynote was amazing!"

Zander's words on opportunity and possibility were clearly taken to heart among the more than 1,600 attendees at the Expo during the educational seminar sessions that took place on May 7-8. The nine educational sessions drew nearly 600 total attendees, with the "Branding or Blending" session on May 7, featuring speakers from Boost Mobile, MTV Networks and Prevea Health, drawing an event high of 150.

"From a client perspective, I was very impressed with the educational content at Response Expo 2008, specifically on multi-channel attribution modeling," says Danette Dickerman, director of media at fitness giant Nautilus. "The information presented was quite helpful and has prompted several new initiatives at Nautilus."

Panel discussions on Wednesday included speakers from such leading marketers as Liberty Medical/MEDCO, Borba, Esurance, Boehringer-Ingleheim Pharmaceuticals and Guthy-Renker Corp. Some of the day's speakers had also taken part in a sponsored educational event held at the Hyatt on Tuesday, presented by DR media agency Lockard & Wechsler.

Wednesday's highlight, though, came from featured midday speaker and TV market opinion leader Shelly Palmer, who spent the better part of an hour discussing the transition the TV business is undergoing as all media becomes more networked and how it will affect the direct response space. Palmer's book, "Television Disrupted," covers many similar topics and has made him a must-see speaker on the international media lecture circuit.

On May 8, case studies on two successful direct response marketing campaigns received exclusive billing. The first session, "DTC Pharmaceutical Case Study: Cialis," featured former Cialis marketing manager Mario Neto and author and speaker Dr. Steven Lamm. The second session, "Mobile Case Study: Hyundai/Nokia," was led by Hyundai's manager of Internet marketing, Eric D'Ablaing, and Nokia's global director of mobile brand strategy, Jeremy Wright.

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