With a new concept re-invented for data-driven marketing, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is attracting the best and brightest in the industry to Boston from October 4–6 for its annual event. Selligent has the 7 major trends happening at &THEN.


Known as the birthplace of the American Revolution, the city of Boston is no stranger to disruptive events. So it makes perfect sense that the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) will roll out its new annual event, re-engineered for the digital revolution in marketing, right here in early October 2015.


Under the new name &THEN, The Global Marketing Experience, the DMA’s convention is super-charged with forward-looking presentations, workshops, and seminars. “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” asks the DMA in the show’s invite, as the organization at the forefront of marketing for 97 years goes all-in on digital transformation. 

Presented by Selligent as the Title Sponsor, &Then (pronounced “and then”) will host 195+ hands-on workshops and sessions over 3 days, with keynote speakers including award-winning musician John Legend, TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie, and Executive Chairman at Saatchi & Saatchi Kevin Roberts.

With a fully stacked schedule bursting at the seams with exclusive content, here are 7 major trends that will be all the #buzz at &THEN 2015:


Trend 1

1. Disruption meets innovation: The future of data-driven marketing. According to current DMA research, 80% of data-driven marketers believe that their segment is growing, with growth rates at the highest level in Q2 2015. So now is a great time to ask where business models, consumer touch points, and agency models are trending. Massive shifts are already underway, for instance the approaching programmatic ‘tipping point’ on the US digital advertising market: this year, programmatic transactions will be the majority of non-search ad spend at 52% (BII research), and programmatic ad revenue in the US is poised to hit $15 billion before the end of the year. The influx of data-driven, automated solutions, blended with a new demand for consumer experiences (see 3.) is disrupting everything – even established agency models.  

&THEN Events to watch:


The Future of Agencies with JOSH BLACKSMITHSVP, Group Management Director FCB Chicago.

Taking Advantage of the Programmatic Revolution showcase in the TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION area.


Trend 2

2. Keeping up with Gen Z and Y: Marketing to future generations. Members of Generation Y, also known as Millennials, and their children are the most digitally connected, diverse age groups in history. And they wield tremendous spending power, roughly $200 billion according to the DMA’s research on reaching the new generations. But they also showcase unique, anti-ownership sentiments and place high demands on authenticity, all the while leaping across multiple devices and touch points to give marketers a run for their money. So for an opportunity to get a sit-down between marketers and Generation Y, &THEN will offer ASK A MILLENNIAL sessions.  

&THEN Events to watch:

WHAT CAN THE EXPERIENCED MARKETER LEARN FROM MILLENNIALS by Jamie Notter, co-author of When Millennials Take Over: Preparing for the Ridiculously Optimistic Future of Business.


Trend 3

3. Memories over things: Experience-driven marketing. Consumers are increasingly prioritizing their spending on experiences over products. Since 1987, consumer spending on live experiences and events in the US has climbed by 70% (Forbes). Leading the charge, 78% of millennials (see 2.) would rather spend money on experiences than buying products (Harris). This puts marketers in the realm of events organizers – further disrupting agency models (see 1.). And according to EventTrack, 79% of brands already increased experiential marketing spend in 2015, with 89% including events into integrated campaigns. When live events connect with data-driven marketing efforts, companies can drive long-term engagement and major recognition boosts; including this award-winning showcase from Selligent client ING Bank.

&THEN Events to watch:

Marketing is Dead... Long Live the Experience

Creating Culture-Shifting Experiences

The Intersection of Technology & Experience: Engagement


Trend 4

4. Like it, love it: Marketing powered by emotions. In a digitally connected world where “likes” are the new currency, customer emotions are the new revenue flows. And since consumers share their emotionalized views with others – through reviews and recommendations – brands need to control their emotional profile. The payoff is enormous: According to Internet Retailer’s Social Media 500, Facebook already accounts for 50% of referrals and 64% revenue in social commerce. Meanwhile, recommendation platform Tripadvisor already counts 150 million user-generated reviews that build trust and engagement. At &THEN, DMA Marketing Hall of Famer Ernan Roman of Tripadvisor will open the successful travel recommendation platform’s playbook in a session titled: The Power of Community, Trust, Emotion, and Context. Emotions also play into automated programs, and &THEN features providers that lead the way.

&THEN Events to watch:

Selligent’s Impact Session #2 partnered with the Future Foundation: The Warming Web:  How to Humanize Personalization Programs

7 Human Behavior Hacks that Increase Engagement & Response

Understanding Your Customer's Emotional Needs through Research


Trend 5

5. Marketing that actually works: Getting results. After several years of experimenting with new technologies and allocating digital marketing spend, marketers are ready to lock in solutions that work for them and their clients – not necessarily for everybody. And an increasing amount of companies are tired of playing guessing games: According to the DMA Statistical Factbook, 32% of organizations believe their consumer data is inaccurate, with human error as the cause in 60% of cases. This calls for user-friendly, integrated solutions (see 1.) that deliver measurable ROI while delivering the kind of key performance indicators (KPIs) that actually matter

&THEN Events to watch:

Does it Work? Jason Burby, Americas President of POSSIBLE, shares his insights on impacting consumer behavior in Selligent’s Impact Session #3.

Which Platforms and Channels Work For You – and Which Don’t

Do This Not That: Email and Emerging Media Best Practices That Actually Work


Trend 6

6. Covering all bases: Cross-channel marketing that hits home. With young consumers oscillating between devices and touch points (see 2.), the omnichannel marketing landscape requires a targeted approach to make the best out of each channel. And as &THEN will show, there are some surprises in this brave new future: First of all, email is still appreciated by consumers when it is targeted and relevant (DMA Statistical Factbook), and the majority named email the preferred channel to be contacted by brands. More surprising, “snail mail” is far from dead, but actually exponentially more effective than digital channels: In the 2015 DMA Response Rate Report, direct mail response rates were at 3.7% compared to 0.1% for email and social media! But please note: Analog mail needs to be targeted, personalized, and based on customer data to be efficient.

&THEN Events to watch:

Differentiating with Content: Staying True toYour Brand across Channels

How to Make Your Brand Story Pop across Different Channels

Direct Mail – The New Fundamentals

Print Is Alive: The Positive Impact of Integrating Print in Your Marketing Mix


Trend 7

7. In the fast lane: Mobile and local. The unfolding mobile revolution is doing to digital marketing what email did to direct mail: Increasing the pace and frequency, while also heightening personalization and adding a real-time element to conversion. According to new Google research, mobile searches for local products and services are at an all-time high. Over 50% of mobile users are likely to visit a store after conducting a local search, and 18% of local searches lead to sales. Together with technologies like push notifications and location beacons it’s no wonder that “mobile” and “local” are the major #buzzwords at &THEN 2015. And did we mention that mobile functionality is also part of the recent upgrade to the Selligent platform? To experience the power of the Selligent omnichannel audience engagement platform in our 777 second presentation and all-day touch-screen demos, drop by Booth #937 at &THEN in Boston.

&THEN Events to watch:

Mobile is the Keystone for Integration

Marketing Automation and Mobile Apps

How Do We Engage with Mobile

Mobile: Evaluating its Ever-changing Effectiveness

Combining the Digital & the Physical



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