Ted_HaasGlobal-Z is happy to announce the addition of Ted Haas to our team!

Ted has accepted the role as our Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Ted is an experienced executive and entrepreneur, most recently serving as the Principal Insight and Innovation Officer for HMR Consulting Practice. His management experience leading marketing/sales and strategic planning for startups; midsize and Fortune 500 telecom and information services companies fits well with Global-Z’s mission for continued growth and success.

Ted enjoys spending his free time traveling with family, and playing golf.

Ted achieved his MBA, with concentrations in Marketing and Finance, from the University of Connecticut.

Please help welcome Ted to the team!

Bennington, VT is where the Garder family started Global-Z 25 years ago and it’s where they plan to keep it. Why? Because Bennington offers us a great place to work, raise our families, and live a fulfilling life.

We hope you enjoy this video about Bennington.

Formal Portrait of Doug Robinson 2010Global-Z is happy to announce the addition of Doug Robinson to our team!

Doug begins his new role as Global-Z’s Chief Information Officer. Doug is a seasoned technology executive, most recently serving as Executive Director of IT with Merck & Co., Inc. His experience with global Fortune 500 companies, as well as entrepreneurial high growth companies, fits well with Global-Z’s mission for continued growth and high performance in our marketplace.

Doug enjoys spending his free time working on his cars and a number of projects around the house, playing a bit of golf or tennis, and spending time with family, friends and his dogs.

Please help welcome Doug to the team!

~by Paul Harris, Sales and Marketing Assistant

Merry Law, Address Data Quality Expert

Global-Z recently had the opportunity to catch-up with our longtime friend Merry Law. Merry is the President of WorldVu LLC, the editor of the Guide to Worldwide Postal-Code and Address Formats and author of Best Practices for International Mailings.

Here are some highlights from our conversation.

Global-Z: Why is it so important to for marketers to have good address quality anyway? 

Merry: Correct addresses are important in two ways: delivery (of course) and perception.

For delivery, a completely incorrect address or one that can’t be understood is not deliverable.   This can mean an invoice, a marketing offer, or a product doesn’t arrive.  Each of those creates different problems and costs before the mailing (printing, packaging, postage) and after the item doesn’t arrive (following up, reshipping products or processing refunds, and so on.)

If the address is decipherable and gets delivered, it can take extra time to get there.  (That can means delayed payments with invoices, slow order streams with marketing offers, or customer complaints with products.)  A poor address also sends a poor message to the recipient about your company.  The company is not professional, is ill-informed, and doesn’t know what they are doing.

 

Global-Z: It’s almost comical to highlight the importance of mail being delivered correctly. Do you think many marketers are ignoring address data quality issues, or do they not have the resources/time to deal with it?

Merry: Yes, isn’t it! I think many marketers and other mailers aren’t aware of all the resources available for verifying and correcting international addresses or don’t know how cost effective those services can be.  Some mailers tell me that the cost of the address hygiene services are often made up for in savings from wasted printing, postage and processing required by undelivered mail.

The same is true of the time element. The amount of time a staff is involved in dealing with returned and undeliverable mail can be greater than the staff time required by the address hygiene process.   And, the old issue of who pays for the hygiene comes up, although we know that the artificial silos between marketing, IT, and other departments on issues like address quality are counter-productive.

There’s sometimes an issue of convincing top management to invest in address hygiene.  Companies like Global-Z help demonstrate how you will benefit from address hygiene.

 

Global-Z: In 2013, you made predictions about the future of marketing. Looking back, which trends do you think will continue this year?

Merry: I think my predictions from last year have held up pretty well, although the growth in international has been a bit slower than I expected.  The restrictiveness of Canada’s legislation on email privacy was a surprise but I don’t think we will see other countries follow this path.  Indeed, the Canadian government is seeing some problems with the strictness of the regulations.

The exploration of big data and integrated, multichannel marketing (by any name) will, I think, be the ones that get the most attention from marketers this year.  The USPS discount offers for qualifying mailings that integrate digital into a mail piece are a wonderful development.  These have now been continued and expanded.  (See here for details.)

 

Global-Z: How would you describe the current state of the direct mail industry?

Merry: While there’s been a tremendous shift  to move away from mail over the last decade, there seems to be a recent move back to direct mail.  Mail works.

Internationally, there are generally fewer legal and practical limitations on sending mail than there are on email marketing.  Mail also reaches everyone, everywhere.  Studies suggest that people spend more time looking at a piece of printed mail than they do looking at an email.  As all marketers know, those seconds matter to the response rate.

 

Global-Z: What’s new at WorldVu? Are you working on any new projects that you are excited about?

Merry:   I have been doing more writing and speaking.  I am speaking more often on best practices for international mailing.  I recently presented a paper on The Value of Addresses, discussing their economic and financial value, at conferences in France and the U.S.  It’s an interesting topic that’s often neglected by both companies and by governments.  Perhaps if addresses were a balance sheet asset, top management would better understand the need to spend on address hygiene and maintenance.

~By Paul Harris, Sales & Marketing Assistant

Australia Post

Early in December 2013, Global-Z learned from Australia Post that they were soon to begin charging a royalty fee for use of their postal address file (PAF), which became effective on January 1st, 2014.

Global-Z is a long time licensee of Australia Post’s PAF file.  The PAF file helps us provide our clients with the leading address hygiene services for Australian data.  In order to reduce the impact of this change, we will be passing these royalty costs on to our clients without any price markup. These royalties will be in addition to our regular address hygiene service fees.

Our customers who have historically had Global-Z process their Australia data have already been contacted by us in December with details about the royalty-based fees Australia Post has added.  If you have any questions or concerns about this change and how it may impact your business, please Contact Us. We would be happy to help answer your questions.

tfma_2014

It’s that time again! We are getting ready for the 2014 annual Technology for Marketing & Advertising (TFM&A) conference in London. This year’s show will take place at Earls Court and the event will be co-locating with multiple different conferences.

This year the Global-Z team can be found in the Global Marketing Alliance (GMA) lounge. The lounge is located on the right side of the exhibit hall near the Direct Marketing Theater and Data & Marketing Theater (view floor plan here).

As always, we are looking forward to seeing you at the 2014 conference! Please Contact Us to schedule  a meeting during the show. We would love to talk to you about all our Direct Marketing and Data Quality services. We are also providing  live demos of our Real Time data processing capabilities.

See you in the swinging city!

________________________

Want to enjoy yourself before the show? DMI Magazine will once again host the Global-Z co-sponsored networking social the evening preceding the TFM&A, on Monday, February 24th. We’ve got all the details here for you.

Jeff Couture

~By Paul Harris, Sales & Marketing Assistant

Recently, we had an opportunity to interview Jeff Couture, Executive Director of the Vermont Technology Alliance (vtTA). The vtTA is a business association focused on supporting, promoting and expanding technology companies and jobs in Vermont. Through that role, Jeff has experience in association leadership, organization and membership development, event planning and advocacy. Previously he was a communications manager for IBM, serving at the primary spokesperson for IBM in Vermont.

 Global-Z- Why did you start the Vermont Technology Alliance?

Jeff- The Vermont Technology Alliance started as the Vermont Software Developers Alliance in 2004. It grew out of a gathering of software companies in the greater Burlington area who realized there was a large number of software and tech-related businesses in Vermont, but that this business sector was not always recognized or visible.  The organization was formed to encourage collaboration, share expertise, and provide a unified voice for Vermont’s software industry.

As the organization grew, Vermont companies in other tech business segments identified common needs and joined the Alliance. In 2012, the Vermont Technology Alliance name was adopted to better reflect the organization’s expanding membership and its mission to represent and support the state’s growing number of technology companies.

Global-Z- In our digital age, most all businesses use some form of technology to function. This can make the definition of a “tech company” become a bit ambiguous. How do you define a technology company?

Jeff- Our definition of a technology company is fairly broad, in recognition of the many types of businesses that create, use and manage technology.  It often focuses on companies involved in information technology, and encompasses the use of digital tools, networks, applications, data and analytics to create or deliver a product or service. For our organization, this includes software development and consulting, web design and development, information systems management and data processing, telecommunications and networking, game and app development, technology manufacturing, biotechnology, energy, technology-related sales and marketing, and others who support or do business with Vermont’s technology sector.

Global-Z- Why should anyone consider a career in Vermont if they want to work in the tech industry?

Jeff- Vermont has a strong reputation as a great place to visit and to live. Tourists flock here for the state’s recreation, beauty, small communities and downtowns. Vermont regularly makes national lists for its quality of life. What if you could live here and have a great tech career?  Well, you can. Vermont is home to a number of dynamic, fast-growing, innovative technology companies who are leaders in their fields and doing business worldwide. Many of these companies tend to fly under the radar – they’re not as well-known in the state as Ben and Jerry’s or are not located in a typical corporate high-rise – but they’re here, they’re successful and they’re hiring.

Global-Z- Recruiting good “techies” who want to live and work in Vermont can be a challenge for business in the state. What can businesses do to help build Vermont’s reputation as a technology state?

Jeff- One of vtTA’s goals is to draw attention to the number of tech companies that are based in Vermont – it’s one of the state’s best kept secrets. That’s why vtTA sponsors the annual Tech Jam trade show and works with state government to encourage marketing Vermont as a home for tech. There are a few large tech firms in the state, but many are smaller firms that have great opportunity and growth potential. As a business association we try to spotlight the collective strength of the industry as a whole, and communicate to job seekers that if you come to Vermont to work in tech, you can find opportunities.

Global-Z- What are your goals for the future of vtTA?

Jeff- We will continue to expand our membership, which today includes more than 150 companies and entrepreneurs, and to connect with tech businesses throughout the state.  We will continue to work with the Legislature and state Commerce Agency to support and promote the value of Vermont’s tech business sector. We’ll continue to provide and promote opportunities for the tech sector to network and collaborate. Among our planned projects this year is production of a third edition of our Tapping Tech publication, which highlights the positive impact of Vermont technology companies on the state’s economy, and a “Tech Summit,” to share ideas, address issues and plan for the future of Vermont’s digital economy.

 

Seth_Godin_IMWeek_06_2013

~by Marty Shaw, Global-Z Director of Sales & Marketing

I had the great pleasure of meeting my favorite marketing guru, Seth Godin, in person at the inaugural Integrated Marketing Week (IM Week) last month. He was the keynote speaker kicking off the event. I was fortunate enough to have him sign his new book for me; V Is for Vulnerable: Life Outside the Comfort Zone“A full-color ABC book for grown-ups, with a powerful message about doing great work”. During his lively presentation Seth certainly did not let any attendees down, providing insight and advice on how to navigate what he refers to as the new “connection economy”.

I have written a number of reviews of Seth’s other best selling books and what I’m so often left with in reading his books, and now having seen him present live, are his memorable quotes that inspire and leave you thinking about them long after. During Seth’s IM Week presentation, he said a few quotes that were particularly thought provoking for me:

  • “Fly close to the sun”, in line with another often-quoted expression he uses; “safe is risky”.
  • “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” This Kurt Vonnegut quote highlights the risks that Seth encourages each of us to take within and outside our lives as marketers.
  • “Anticipated, personal & relevant communication” were the terms he used to help guide us as thoughtful marketers; the wings, if you will, which will help each of us succeed.
  • “Are you going to matter, not just succeed?” Yeah, that was a real big thought-provoking question! If what we do doesn’t matter, why are we doing it?

Seth maintains that what we all need is “grit” to succeed in the new connection economy. This reminded me of a TED Talk I recently watched presented by Angela Lee Duckworth; “The key to success? Grit”. I encourage you to watch it. I think Seth & Angela are onto something.

Seth’s presentation ran about 50 minutes and my brief synopsis does it little justice. Read his books, his blog, and meet him in person if you can. I’m confident you will be glad you did. If you know his work already please leave comments below, or even if you don’t know Seth’s work I’m interested in your thoughts on these points I have mentioned.

gary-carter

~ By Marty Shaw, Director of Sales & Marketing

I had the pleasure of meeting Gary Carter in person a number of times growing up in Montreal. As you may know, Gary Carter was an American professional baseball catcher for the Montreal Expos and was named an All-Star 11 times. Whenever our neighborhood was having events or fundraisers he was amongst the first to get out and meet his adoring fans. He was so kind and always had time for his fans, especially the youngest amongst them. His youthful exuberance had him affectionately known as “Kid”. Sadly, he died on Feb. 16, 2012 of brain cancer at just 57.

At Global-Z we are in the business of keeping up to date on the changes in street names around the world, though the story behind the change of a street name is not always evident. The renaming of Faillon Street West in Montreal to Rue Gary Carter means a great deal to me as it will for countless fans who will now drive on a street honoring this great man in front of the stadium where he began his Hall of Fame career, Jerry Park. Well done, Montreal! We miss you, Kid!

playing_w_fire

~ by Marty Shaw, Global-Z Director of Sales & Marketing

Our parents told each of us growing up to “never play with matches”, right? Sorry to inform the parents of Global-Z’s R&D team… they didn’t listen to you!

Each week the GZ team has ongoing training sessions which are often lead by our R&D team. Recently we have been focusing the training on our data matching services. As we go through the training it becomes evident very quickly how much the GZ R&D team likes playing with matches! “Here’s what happens when you include the phone number along with the address in the match.”, “Look when you then add the email address.” As they play with matches during our interactive training we see first hand how our clients’ varying use cases for data quality matching often necessitate the fine-tuning of the business rules to optimize the match results. The granularity of the match rules we incorporate into our services often necessitate different rules not only from one company to the next, but even within a company our clients benefit from inter-departmental match logic differences. What the team in the IT department considers a match may not necessarily be the same for the Marketing department.

Fortunately for the GZ Sales team… and more importantly for our clients… all this “data quality pyrotechnics” proves very beneficial. Keep playing with those matches, R&D team!