Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 21

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BY JACK GORDON PHOTOS BY ROGER HAGADONE

As a kid, Monica C. Smith was always the one with the lemonade stand. As a teen, on summer breaks in high school, while other girls worked in local shops, she tried to start small businesses: “Landscaping – that kind of thing,” she recalls. “The entrepreneurial spirit has always raged through me.” Later on, though she held perfectly good jobs and got along well with bosses, she says, “I struggled with the slow pace in corporations. I didn’t fit. … I just never felt like I belonged somewhere until Marketsmith.” Marketsmith, Inc., of Parsippany, N.J. is Smith’s own firm, which she launched in 1999. It manages marketing campaigns for advertisers that want to reach consumers via direct response channels: online, catalog, direct mail or DRTV. Marketsmith now has 30 employees and a 2012 revenue target of $20 million. The company is an odd duck in the world of direct response suppliers. Marketsmith does not buy media like an advertising agency. It doesn’t produce DRTV commercials. It doesn’t act as a call center or a fulfillment house. Instead, it oversees and guides all of those functions, as well as e-commerce site design, search engine marketing (SEM) and other online activities. Smith likens her company to an “outsourced marketing department” for brands, manufacturers and retailers that are looking to reach customers directly. “We create a go-to-market strategy, execute it and analyze the results.” M a r k B a r ro c a s , pre sid e nt of DRTV advertising giant Euro-Pro, a Marketsmith client, says that the company’s niche in the industry might be unique. “We don’t know of any firms that would be direct competitors,” he says. “Marketsmith doesn’t buy our media, they establish the metrics so that our media buying companies can buy more effectively. Monica’s business is media optimization; she’s not in the business of buying directly.” “Metrics” is a key word in that statement. Marketsmith’s forte is in data analysis, sifting the results of DR

“I struggled with the slow pace in corporations. I didn’t fit. ... I just never felt like I belonged somewhere until Marketsmith.”
– Monica C. Smith of Marketsmith, Inc.

marketing campaigns to determine things such as the return on investment for individual mailings, online promotions or media buys. The firm can crunch and organize data on an enormous scale. In its 13-year existence, Marketsmith claims to have overseen the mailings and analyzed the performance of hundreds of millions of direct-mail pieces and more than 3 billion emails. Many of Smith’s clients use DR channels to drive consumers to retail stores, and she says her firm has analyzed media spending that has prompted more than $1 billion in retail sales. Marketsmith did not begin working with DRTV advertisers until 2008. Today, it manages DRTV campaigns that spend more than $125 million a year on media. And it is for DRTV clients, specifically, that Marketsmith now has spawned a new 10-employee company that will sell a technology product, rather than what amounts to a consulting service. I.Predictus is the name of the new company, and the Intelligent Palette is the software package it will offer. The software is an online marketing platform that will automatically do a key part of what Marketsmith does for its DRTV clients: drive intelligence to guide better media buying. Marketsmith gets involved with all aspects of DRTV campaigns, from testing different offers to telemarketing and fulfillment. But a core function the firm performs is to gather and analyze data

that, as Smith puts it, “let us tell [media buying] agencies what we think is the best way to spend a dollar.” I.Predictus has codified Marketsmith’s human processes and proprietary algorithms to provide a data-driven view, via a dashboard, of which media buys are producing the best ROI, thereby enabling a DRTV campaign to purchase time more cost-effectively. When Electronic Retailer spoke to Smith this summer, as the software was still in beta-testing phase, the official unveiling and launch of I.Predictus was scheduled to take place in September at the Electronic Retailing Association’s 2012 D2C Convention in Las Vegas. By the time this story has printed, attendees will know how things went. “It’s going to be a great launch,” Smith said before the conference. “We’re throwing a party to build awareness around this gamechanging technology. I’m jumping out of the plane without a parachute and believe that our fearless, no apologies approach will spark industry interest.”

Crunching Numbers
Smith’s background is in direct-mail and catalog marketing, where a big part of the game involves numbers-driven challenges, such as figuring out how to identify and capitalize on the bestperforming mailing lists. She learned retail, direct and database marketing from employers including Walden Books; the Mark Group, which ran the Boston Proper catalog that was bought last year by Chico’s FAS for a reported $205 million; and Novus Marketing, now Novus Media Inc. of Minneapolis, a multichannel media buying company owned by the Omnicom Group. Marketsmith began by managing direct mail, catalog and online projects. It is still active in those areas. Its clients have been as varied as their campaign objectives. New York’s Museum of Modern Art wanted to drive more traffic to its store. Ralph Lauren’s retail division wanted help understanding customer response to its DR mail and email marketing as it began rebuilding its consumer database. Other long-time 21

October 2012 | electronicRETAILER



Electronic Retailer - October 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Electronic Retailer - October 2012

Calendar of Events
Your Association, Your Bottom Line
Industry Reports
FTC Forum
IMS Retail Rankings
Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories
Ask the Expert
From the Executive’s Desk
It’s All About the Numbers
Media Attribution Goes Mobile
Marketing to Teens: Not All Fun and Games
Guest Viewpoint
Guest Viewpoint
DRTV
Teleservices
Fulfillment
Member Spotlight
Bulletin Board
Advertiser Index
Classifieds
Rick Petry
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - cover1
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - cover2
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 3
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 4
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 5
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 6
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Calendar of Events
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Your Association, Your Bottom Line
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 9
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Industry Reports
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 11
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - FTC Forum
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 13
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - IMS Retail Rankings
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 15
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 17
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Ask the Expert
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - From the Executive’s Desk
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - It’s All About the Numbers
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 21
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 22
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 23
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Media Attribution Goes Mobile
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 25
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 26
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 27
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Marketing to Teens: Not All Fun and Games
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 29
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 30
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Guest Viewpoint
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 32
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Guest Viewpoint
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 34
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 35
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 36
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - DRTV
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Teleservices
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Fulfillment
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Member Spotlight
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 41
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 42
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Advertiser Index
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Classifieds
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 45
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Rick Petry
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - cover3
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - cover4
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