Direct marketing meets real-time marketing

A marketer is only as smart as his data. Traditionally, direct marketers would create and execute a campaign, wait for results…wait some more…and finally garner results months later, long after the campaign and often the subsequent campaign had been completed….often wasting months on potentially ineffective campaigns simply because the data was not available at the time.

That model is no longer acceptable today for a variety of reasons.  First, the Web has revolutionized the speed of information and secondly, consumers have more choices of communication channels than ever. In a hyper-fragmented world, its not uncommon for a marketer to wonder, Where’s My Marketing?

Today, we at Wilen New York, answer that question with the launch of our new proprietary tool, Where’s My Marketing at DMA 2013.  This continues our commitment for creating best-in-class tools that provide actionable insights for our clients.

Where’s My Marketing provides real-time, detailed results, for direct marketing campaigns across all communication channels.  The program allows marketers to immediately understand detailed demographics of their responders, as well as the preferred communication channel for that responder (mail, phone, email, social media, etc.) This immediate access to data will allow marketers to make informed decisions on the fly, in order to optimize their campaigns. For example, Where’s My Marketing can predict the next 100 responders of a campaign based on current results. Image

 

In addition to the ability to optimize campaigns as they happen, the detailed demographic data, along with the preferred communication channels, will ensure that marketers’ future campaigns become much more targeted.   With a fragmented culture with multiple communication channels available to consumers, it is vital for marketers to be able to garner detailed results in real-time so that each direct marketing campaign achieves the needed results.

 Where’s My Marketing  will revolutionize direct marketing with its real-time detailed analytics that will ensure that your current campaigns can be nimble and future campaigns will achieve higher levels of success. You’ll never have to wonder where your marketing is, because you will know immediately. 

Wilen Direct – Printing Impressions Magazine Interview June 2013

Wilen Direct is featured on the cover of the June 2013 issue of Printing Impressions magazine!

Senior Editor Erik Cagle interviewed Wilen Group President Darrin Wilen about the company, the latest trends in the print and direct marketing industry and how Wilen is gearing up to service the future needs of marketers. Pick up a copy or head over to www.PIworld.com to read the article.

Wilen Direct Announces Achievement of SSAE 16 Certification

Wilen Direct, a leader and innovator in direct marketing that leverages state-of-the-art technologies such as digital and variable data imaging, has successfully completed the new Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagement (SSAE 16) and achieved SSAE 16 certification.

The SSAE 16 audit and certification determines that the company’s technology, business processes, physical security, and infrastructure meet or surpass SSAE 16 standards. The standards are established by the nationally recognized Auditing Standards Board (ASB) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

SSAE 16 logo

SSAE 16 provides Wilen Direct customers with assurances and validation that the company continues to provide data sensitive business sectors with the most stringent standards of operational excellence.

The SSAE 16 certification provides validation of our operational excellence and security controls. “As we continue to work closely with data sensitive industries and our customers accelerate their expansion into the Variable Data Print sector, the SSAE 16 certification further supports our commitment to protecting our customers most valuable asset- their data.” said Darrin Wilen, President Wilen New York.

“Going through a six-month evaluation and audit of our processes and security measures was a great way to show our current and future clients that we are a world-class technology based data center and production facility” said Gregory Dean, Wilen Direct Chief Technology Officer.

“Successfully completing a SOC1-SSAE 16 Type 2 audit is a significant accomplishment for any organization.  The controls you have in place and continue to maintain are an excellent indication of the thought and care you’ve used to develop an environment that is well suited to properly serve your customers.” stated Jack Moore, CPA, CITP President of the Moore Group.

For more information, contact Greg Dean at (954) 246-5000 or visit www.wilendirect.com.

Wilen Media Announces Company Name Change to Wilen New York

Wilen New York

INTRODUCING THE NEW FACE OF WILEN

A fresh new look and fresh ideas from an agency that offers smart marketing solutions from concept to delivery—and strategic advantages every step of the way. No matter how you look at it, Wilen is more attractive than ever.

ONE TEAM.  INFINITE STRATEGY.

What does that mean? Unlike many agencies, Wilen New York works as a single team, from concept to creative to production to delivery—a seamless process that lets us identify strategic advantages every step of the way. That translates into sharper creative, smarter formats and more cost-effective delivery

for our clients. In other words, it means that in everything we do, your success is our number one goal.

 

For more information contact Victoria Ruggiero at (631) 439-5139 or vruggiero@wilengroup.com.

 

The Wilen New York name change is being picked up by national news outlets including Newsday, Target Marketing, Printing Impressions, LIBN and Media Daily News.

Wilen Media Supports Sandy Relief

Hurricane Sandy impacted the East Coast more than anyone could have predicted. Long Island, which is Wilen’s home, was especially hard-hit. Lives were lost, property was damaged and hundreds of thousands of people went weeks without power, heat and, in some cases, even clean water. Recovery has been difficult and still continues many months later.

Long Island Cares is an organization that has been providing critical support services to Long Islanders in need for over 30 years. After the storm, they’ve supplied food, shelter and other resources to help keep local communities afloat, focusing especially on helping children impacted by the storm.

That’s why, this holiday season, Wilen is very pleased to be partnering with Long Island Cares to help those affected. We’ve made a donation of $10,000 to help purchase new toys, hats, gloves, school supplies and other items for Long Island children impacted by the storm. Hopefully we can help put a little more “Happy” in affected children’s holidays this year.

Pictured (from left to right): Robin Amato, Director of Development at Long Island Cares; Paule Pachter, Executive Director of Long Island Cares; Paul Caravello, EVP Wilen Media; Darrin Wilen, President Wilen Media; Scott Gormley, Creative Account Director Wilen Media; Corey Wilen, EVP Wilen Media.

Pictured (from left to right): Robin Amato, Director of Development at Long Island Cares; Paule Pachter, Executive Director of Long Island Cares; Paul Caravello, EVP Wilen Media; Darrin Wilen, President Wilen Media; Scott Gormley, Creative Account Director Wilen Media; Corey Wilen, EVP Wilen Media.

For more information on how you can help visit the Long Island Cares website.

 

Napkin doodles are the cornerstone of your next great mobile app

Hundreds of eighth-grade science teachers have quoted “speed equals distance over time.” In mobile application development, speed to market is affected by the amount of deviation from the original idea over time. Project divergence over time equates to more overtime to meet an inflexible launch date. Given the aggressive development life cycle of most mobile applications, it is reasonable to assume that scope creep (PDF) is the single biggest challenge. Keeping your project within the original boundaries – and reducing or eliminating scope creep – requires more diligence in the “planning” stage of the standard development life cycle (SDLC).

The power of the napkin

Better planning will result in less coding. Not necessarily fewer lines, but less time translating requirements into a marketable mobile app. Regardless the SDLC model, requirements and architecture are the crucial building blocks for all mobile apps. The requirements define exactly what the app is going to do, while the architecture outlines how it’s going to do it. No matter the level of complexity of your app, requirements should always be clear and concise. The most popular iOS apps most likely evolved from napkin doodles (Figure A).

Figure A

Napkin Doodles

Napkin Doodles

Napkin Doodles

Napkin doodles, loose notes, and random thoughts are the cornerstone of your next great mobile app. Take some time to organize your thoughts and create sketches of the interface, navigation, and program flow. A simple wireframe can reveal problems and thwart issues before the first line of code is written. Use case outlines and diagrams are an integral part of the requirements gathering process. All of the information – formally documented or loosely defined – fuel the blueprint and define the architecture of an iOS app.

If project requirements are the building blocks of an iOS app, then project architecture is the definition of how the blocks are to be positioned or stacked. The iOS App Store is hosting many apps with similar functionality. These apps are differentiated by the various approaches each developer used to translate requirements into architecture. In traditional software development, architecture is the process of designing a system that satisfies the requirements. This effort is greatly reduced if the requirements are thorough, descriptive, and well documented.

Three steps

Going from napkin doodles to application architecture and design can be less daunting if you follow this three-step process:

  • Identify and list the functional requirements. Using the “right-to-passage” Hello World app as an example, functional requirements might include:

              · Must capture user name.

              · Must support device rotation.

              · Must display user name with welcome message.

  • Create a list of non-functional requirements. Non-functional requirements would include anything that is not a task performed by the mobile app. For example:

             · Must be fast.

             · Must be released in time for the holidays.

  • Create a UML use case diagram and present it – along with supporting documentation – to the project stakeholders (Figure B).

Figure B

Use case diagram

Use case diagram

With everyone in agreement – and a clear understanding of what the app is going to do – you can move to the architecture and design phase with less risk of scope creep. If a new OS is announced during the development of your app, a decision needs to be made as to whether or not to leverage any new capability or functionality. Depending on the SDLC methodology, it might make more sense to continue with the current release and start planning your next release to incorporate the new system or device capabilities.

More often than not, apps fail because there is not enough planning before code writing. Other development efforts fall short because there is no structure or methodology applied after the requirements have been gathered and documented. Of the eight mainstream SDLC models – Agile, Evolutionary, Rapid Prototype, Slamdunk, Spiral, Stage Gate, Sync-Stable, and Waterfall – we hear the most buzz surrounding Agile and Waterfall.

Agile and Waterfall

Traditionalists like the organization and thorough documentation required for a Waterfall project (Figure C). A Waterfall project is synchronous. For example, one completed phase cascades into the next. However, the Waterfall method does not align well with the speed at which mobile technology and innovation moves.

Figure C

Waterfall project

Waterfall project

Waterfall project

The SDLC Agile method, on the other hand, lends itself to the fast-paced and ever-changing mobile environment. The iterative process of the Agile method satisfies the need to remain nimble and sensitive to changes in the technology throughout the lifecycle of a project. The Agile method for software development is a “plan as you go” approach that welcomes change throughout the process (Figure D).

Figure D

Agile method

Agile method

Agile method

The iterative process of the Agile method is more receptive to a napkin doodle as input than the rigid procedural process of the Waterfall method. Great ideas can come at any time. Grab the closest writable surface – such as a drink coaster or napkin – and sketch a quick proof-of-concept. Few projects start as a detailed set of schematics, but rather as a collection of unorganized random thoughts, notes, and illustrations. Your next great iOS mobile app can originate from a simple set of napkin doodles.

Takeaway: Keeping your project within the original boundaries and reducing or eliminating scope creep requires more diligence in the “planning” stages.

- Gregory Dean

CTO, Wilen Media