Member Profile - Don Hinman
Member Profile Don Hinman
Ruth P. Stevens talks with Don Hinman, aka “Dr. Data,” who recently retired from Epsilon and launched his own consulting practice in data-driven marketing, where he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Don, we are so flattered that someone of your stature, based in Texas, would take the trouble to join DMCNY. What’s behind your decision to become a member?
Joining DMCNY was an easy decision. Epsilon is based in Dallas, although I was based in Denver. (I’ve now relocated to Sarasota, FL.) Besides the national DMA, there are lots of local clubs. But most of us recognize that New York has been, and is still, the center of data-driven marketing (DDM). Our industry is based upon relationships and great leaders. Being connected with the center as well as other organizations is important. DMCNY members are some of the most important leaders in our industry. And, yes, some of us live west of the Hudson!
2. I hear you’ve retired from Epsilon. What are you up to these days?
After spending over 30 years with some of the leading DDM companies, I wanted to do what I’ve seem so many of my colleagues do – share my experience and knowledge across a spectrum of DDM uses. As “Dr. Data,” I am frequently asked to help people with how data can solve their marketing problems. My new role as a consultant helps me do this more easily.
3. How did you get into direct marketing in the first place?
I like to play with data! I first started work in radio. Why? I liked to push the buttons on the control board. I got my Ph.D. because I liked going to college (during the 70’s) and learning how to play with data in structuredways through statistics. Since DDM is so dependent on measurement and counting, it has given me many opportunities to play with data. I have moved from company to company always in search of the biggest and best data.
4. What do our members need to know about recent developments in the world of data-driven marketing?
No channel is better than another. When I see people line up behind direct mail or digital marketing as their expertise, I wonder why they want to limit themselves. Our customers are exposed to mail, telephone, Internet, email, television, radio, magazines, newspapers, and more. Just because one may increase or decrease in effectiveness and use, customers are still using it. We need to be channel agnostic. Data-driven marketing works across all channels.