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By Hal Malchow

Direct Marketing is a magical profession, a beautiful blend of the science and art.  My firms were always known for winning creative awards but what made me most proud was bringing science to the process and being the first firm to model and mail voter lists on a large scale.  The lessons of direct marketing are powerful.  Testing and experimentation builds knowledge.  Knowledge drives success.  And if you doubt the power of these principles remember that television ads are not the primary ad expenditure in America.   Almost exactly one half of the American advertising dollar is spent in direct marketing.

These lessons helped me transform campaign politics by bringing database analytics to campaign targeting and promoting control group experiments to measure all we do.  Now both political parties maintain large databases, as formidable as what you would find in the commercial marketplace.   Our experiments demonstrated that about 80% of our voter turnout tactics were not working at all.  New experiments have helped find new tactics that work and enable us to measure exactly how effective they are.  A profession that once operated without measurement or accountability is now building knowledge.

To be recognized by the Direct Marketing Association of Washington with the Hall of Leaders Award is a high honor.  But more importantly, I believe, it is a celebration of the power of what we do and how our methods and principles have transformed activities once thought beyond our reach.  I want to thank DMAW for choosing me for this award, for being a partner in my growth and success as a professional and, most importantly, for nurturing a profession that has transformed how we do business in America.

DMAW’s highest award for career achievement is the Hall of Leaders award. Nominations for the 2014 Hall of Leaders is now open. Download a nomination form by clicking here