- Student Career Forums
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- Journal of Interactive Marketing
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- Professor's Institute
- Robert Kestnbaum Research Program
- About DMEF
Current & Prior Year Winners
2011 Gerber Life Insurance
2010 Publishers Clearing House
2009 Litle & Co.
2008 KnowledgeBase Marketing /Wunderman
2007 Time Consumer Marketing, a division of Time Inc.
2004 America Online
The skills and dedication of our associates transformed Acxiom from a small data processing company into a market leader.
Founded in 1969, Acxiom is headquartered in Little Rock, Ark., and serves clients around the world from locations in the United States, Europe, Asia-Pacific and South America.
Acxiom is a recognized leader in technology and marketing services that enable marketers to successfully manage audiences, personalize consumer experiences and create profitable customer relationships. Our superior industry-focused, consultative approach combines consumer data and analytics, databases, data integration and consulting solutions for personalized multichannel marketing strategies. Acxiom leverages over 40 years of experience in data management to deliver high-performance, highly secure, reliable infrastructure-management services.
As a strong supporter and partner of DMEF, Acxiom is educating the next generation of direct marketers first hand through internship and student career exchange programs. Acxiom believes in sponsoring and speaking at direct/interactive marketing events with the purpose of exchanging valuable information. Through in-depth training via Webinars, white papers, and POV documents, we help our employees, clients and students understand and gain real world experience learning how to use direct and digital marketing best practices.
For more information, visit: www.acxiom.com.
Gerber Life Insurance
Since 1967, Gerber Life Insurance Company has provided quality life insurance, especially for young families on a limited budget. Gerber Life’s mission is to be the brand that parents trust to help them achieve financial security and protection for their families. Today, Gerber Life is licensed to provide life insurance throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, with more than $37 billion of life insurance in force, and helping to provide financial security to more than three million policy holders.
The company has a long history of supporting education, both within the organization and in supporting initiatives in the field. For Gerber Life, training is more than just a transfer of knowledge and skills. It is fundamental to the culture of learning and development and to the fostering of Gerber’s corporate principles and values. Gerber provides world-class tools, resources, and support to enable employees to manage their own career paths and reach their full potential.
Publishers Clearing House
Founded in 1953 by DMA Hall of Fame member, Harold Mertz, PCH is a leading multichannel marketer of value-based consumer products and magazines, which offers many ways for consumers to play and win – most notably its famous sweepstakes that has awarded over $220 million in prizes. PCH, its employees and officers have a long heritage of service and leadership in both direct marketing industry initiatives and the community at large. Commitment to education, training, and leadership development are an integral part of the company culture. Among the numerous initiatives are the company’s monthly “Lunch and Learn” presentations, “Team Connection” cross-functional networking groups, and “PCH U” courses taught by internal subject matter experts, outside facilitators, e-learning, and courses “on demand.” PCH also offers a generous tuition reimbursement plan, college campus recruiting, and a dynamic summer internship program as part of their ongoing efforts to foster the education and development of newcomers to the field of direct/interactive marketing.
Litle & Co.
Founded by DMA Hall of Fame member Tim Litle in 2001, Litle & Co. is one of the few companies dedicated to serving the payment management needs of direct sellers in the complex world of card- or customer-not-present environments. Litle's business has been described as the most un-sexy form of business, but one that literally paves the way for interactions in today's interactive world.
Litle & Co.’s success is built on a deep understanding of these highly specialized needs. So much so that the company’s commitment to education starts with investing in its own people with Litle University.
As an employer, Litle & Co. embodies the kind of “knowledge-hungry culture” in which great direct marketing careers can thrive.
The company has demonstrated a real commitment to nurturing and mentoring their employees and contributes to the broader direct and interactive marketing community by sharing their knowledge and best practices with clients and peers.
Litle & Co.s demonstration of support of direct/interactive marketing education is evident in its support or the DMEF Collegiate ECHO Challenge as a past sponsor, and president and CEO Tim Litle works with colleges and universities as an active member of DMEF's Board of Trustees, and in its many other philanthropic deeds.
Both KnowledgeBase Marketing (KBM) and Wunderman embody the curious, knowledge-hungry culture in which direct marketing careers thrive. Not only do both organizations nurture the skills, know-how and careers of their employees, but they contribute to the direct marketing industry by sharing their knowledge and best practices with clients and fellow direct marketers.
This commitment to education is evident in Wunderman’s global direct marketing learning center, Wunderman University. Wunderman University provides employees worldwide (including its operating companies such as KBM, DATACORE Marketing and ZAAZ) a standardized direct marketing curriculum taught by a network of internal “faculty.” Wunderman University serves all employees across all departments at all levels. Built on rich direct marketing expertise across all practice areas, Wunderman University has a global presence that helps leverage global learning, far surpassing international benchmarks.
KnowledgeBase Marketing takes its education initiative to a deeper level with its own impressive staff of experienced direct marketing practitioners who share their expertise in data-driven marketing internally and across Wunderman. Through multi-level training opportunities, KnowledgeBase Marketing employees learn about the direct marketing industry, the competitive landscape, the needs of their clients and prospects, ethics and privacy, as well as best practices in their individual jobs. Such training includes classroom sessions, on-the-job training, lunch and learn programs, cross-training, online instruction and mentoring. This training covers general skills as well as training on third-party and proprietary systems.
This commitment to education goes beyond company walls. Both KnowledgeBase Marketing and Wunderman experts are in demand at direct marketing conferences worldwide. In 2007, the companies’ subject matter experts conducted 40 sessions at 25 conferences. In addition to face-to-face training, KBMers published a book on customer churn in the telecom industry and 14 articles covering multiple aspects of direct marketing.
For anyone who has attended any DMEF meeting or event, it is evident that KnowledgeBase Marketing and Wunderman are major supporters by the presence and participation of their top executives, Gary Laben and Daniel Morel. Laben serves as Vice Chairman/Chairman-elect of DMEF and is also a member of the DMA Ethics Policy Committee. As a DMA Board member, Morel has been a proactive advocate of DMEF.
Both KnowledgeBase Marketing and Wunderman are considered industry leaders as evidenced by their many awards and recognition by respected authorities. Most recently, KnowledgeBase Marketing was named one of the leading database marketing vendors in its evaluation of Database Marketing Service Providers. Wunderman has also been the recipient of 25 Cannes Lions awards since 2002.
Time Consumer Marketing, A Division Of Time Inc.
Recognized for its commitment to nurture the development of tomorrow’s industry leaders, Time Consumer Marketing, Inc. (TCM) the consumer marketing division of Time Inc., is a marketing organization that consistently demonstrates their claim: “our people are our greatest asset. Identifying and nurturing talent is a true business imperative and a high priority for TCM.” The training and development opportunities they afford their young staff have helped them to become strong contributors, as is evidenced by the year-over-year profit growth that the division has delivered. In short, they provide future leaders to the company and the industry. Most of their programs have been in place well over a decade and have served as a model for other divisions and companies, including such initiatives as the TCM Internship Program, designed to identify and nurture high potential talent at the undergraduate and business school level and the TCM Training Program, a comprehensive program that provides entry level and junior level staff with experiences that can enhance their current performance as well as their future development. They also offer a Mentoring Program, that provides new staff with peer mentors to smooth their entry to the company. And staff with one year of tenure may participate in a developmental mentorship program that pairs them with senior staff from the division’s ranks.
In addition to developing future leaders for the industry, Time Consumer Marketing contributes to the industry in myriad ways. TCM is a strong supporter of the DMA. Beyond financial support, they provide active leadership on the DMA Board, the DMA Circulation Council, the DMA Circulation Council Operating Committee and several other special interest councils. Staff members are frequent participants at DMA sponsored conferences and panels including the Circulation Council’s Young Professional program. They are a long-time supporter of the DMEF’s activities through internship programs and other ad hoc activities, including the former the John Yeck Center programs.
In 1926, Harry Scherman, a leader in the direct marketing industry, assembled the first ever Editorial Board of Judges and the Book-of the-Month Club® was born. At the same time, another savvy marketer, Samuel W. Craig, was developing a club concept similar to the New York Theatre Guild and the book guilds of Europe, and launched The Literary Guild® in 1927. The two pioneering American book clubs established themselves as reliable sources of great, affordable books.
Bookspan was the leader in direct marketing of book and related entertainment products, and the preeminent provider of operational and creative services to multi-channel marketers, national retailers and B2B enterprises. Through its vast array of top-quality book clubs, Bookspan provided its members with a superior book buying and reading experience through unparalleled editorial selection, savings and exemplary customer service. The company did this through leadership in direct marketing and by placing its customers and employees at the center of their business. They fostered an atmosphere of openness and integrity in which teamwork thrives.
Bookspan was a partnership between Bertelsmann AG and Time Warner, Inc. with two wholly-owned subsidiaries; Doubleday Entertainment™ and YES Solutions™. Doubleday Entertainment has over seven million members and included over 35 book clubs, such as Doubleday Book Club, Literary Guild, Book-of-the-Month Club and special interest and lifestyle clubs. YES Solutions provided operational services and creative services to multichannel direct marketers, national retailers and B2B enterprises.
Bookspan firmly believed in “giving back” and dedicated itself to ensuring the future of the direct marketing business. The company was a loyal and generous supporter of and participant in DMEF programs, offering pro-bono services that advanced the Foundation and direct marketing education, while offering financial support of DMEF programs
The history of Kraft Foods stretches back to modest beginnings more than 100 years ago. Hard work, imagination and a commitment to bringing the world its favorite foods have helped Kraft grow into a company that touches more than a billion people in 151 countries.
Kraft’s growth and success have been built on a foundation of trust – in the quality and value of Kraft products, in the integrity and dedication of Kraft workers, and in the many ways Kraft contributes to the well-being of communities across the globe. With a corporate vision of helping people around the world eat and live better, Kraft’s more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to understanding the changing expectations of society, addressing relevant social issues and giving back to make a meaningful difference in communities worldwide.
Corporate responsibility has been a Kraft hallmark since the company’s inception. In addition to thousands of hours each year in corporate-sponsored volunteer service by Kraft employees, in 2004 Kraft also contributed more than $86 million in food and financial support to nonprofit organizations around the world. The Direct Marketing Educational Foundation is one of many grateful recipients of Kraft’s enduring and substantial support and participation in higher education initiatives that benefit the direct and multichannel marketing industry.
America Online started 23 years ago when one man thought it would be a good idea to make the power of the internet available to the average consumer. In the years since, America Online has grown to a company of 19,000 people serving a community of more than 30 million members worldwide.
From the beginning, the big AOL idea was not just to make the internet available to consumers, but to make it an essential part of everyday life. Today, almost everyone is familiar with email, chat and instant messaging – online activities that America Online either invented or dramatically simplified.
But, America Online is more than the sum of its impressive business accomplishments. It is a corporate partner in thousands of communities worldwide where it strives to build stronger and more vibrant places in which to live and work. A key philanthropic initiative is AOL’s effort to enhance educational opportunities and skill development for disadvantaged youth. The AOL Aspirations Fund is a cornerstone of this broader effort to open doors of opportunity for youth. Through partnerships with selected middle and high schools, the AOL Aspiration Fund provides flexible resources to support creative ideas that nurture the skills and talents of young people.
America Online also encourages active citizenship and community involvement on the part of its employees, AOL members and others. AOL’s efforts to encourage employees to make a difference have helped create the AOL Tech Corp, which assists nonprofits and schools with their technology-related needs, Employee Volunteer Days, the nationwide volunteer literacy program, Time to Read, and Home Delivered Meals, among many others.
Within the industry, America Online also is a strong longtime supporter of direct marketing education and the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation. As a formidable and innovative corporate leader, America Online exemplifies the benefits inherent in making community involvement and a commitment to education a central part of corporate identity.