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Here are some of the latest headlines in the Direct Marketing Industry today.

USPS Resumes Full International Service

“Now that international airports across Europe have reopened following the disruption caused by the Icelandic volcanic activity, the U.S. Postal Service has resumed full international mail service.

Effective immediately, the service guarantees for Express Mail International (EMI) and Global Express Guaranteed (GXG) to all destinations have resumed. The USPS also lifted the temporary restriction it imposed April 21 regarding the acceptance of perishable items bound for Europe.

“We appreciate the patience of our customers while the airport closings were in effect,” Pranab Shah, the Postal Service’s managing director and vice president, Global Business, said in a statement. “It was an unprecedented situation, and despite the challenges, we were able to establish alternate transportation channels to keep mail moving both inbound and outbound to many areas of the continent.””

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Holiday 2010 Will Be Business As Unusual [summary]

“Here are some of the new rules for these “business UnUsual” times.

Rule 1: The proliferation of technology and Internet access are fundamentally reshaping the retailing business.

Take Away: The successful retailer of the future will ensure that marketing messages are channel agnostic, giving the consumer the opportunity to determine channel preference.

Rule 2: Consumer engagement will become much more local.

Take Away: New technology provides the opportunity to enhance the relevance and timeliness of advertising. Not only will this help to improve conversion rates for advertisers, but it will also improve consumers’ receptivity to the advertising. So, it’s time to revisit your advertising plans with hyper local in mind.

Rule 3: Mobile is no longer just for leading-edge retailers.

Take Away: 2010 is the year to invest in mobile infrastructure. It’s no longer something retailers need to do to be cutting edge, but is instead a necessity for dealing with the demands of today’s consumer.

Rule 4: Search is becoming real-time and highly personalized.

Take Away: Organic search results are changing as we speak. Your traditional listings’ location on the page will change as real time updates or “latest results” take up a significant portion of screen space. This means that optimization activities must be enhanced and include both strategy and execution that bridges the gap between SEO and social media.

Rule 5: Multichannel measurement and optimization is the only real way for multichannel retailers to effectively manage the marketing mix.

Take Away:
1. Cross channel insight and attribution is a must for smart marketing investments.
2. While utilizing channel-specific agencies is likely to remain a reality, getting them to collaborate for measurement and optimization needs to be assigned a higher level of priority and accountability.

When faced with “Business UnUsual” times, it’s important not to go on with business planning as usual. Acknowledge the changes in the consumer and their preferences and then utilize this research for inspiration on the tactics and tools that will enable success in 2010 and beyond.”

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