Meet Me at the Corner of Art & Science

By Adam Solomon, VP Product, PebblePost

The U.S. Constitution is a remarkably prescient document. It’s also highly malleable. Imagine trying to run a 21st century company using a business plan drafted in 1787. But even with all the advancements in technology, sociology and virtually every other -ology in the last 230 years, the Constitution still functions as a blueprint for our dizzyingly complex society.

Take, for example, Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, aka the “copyright clause.” It reads: “The Congress shall have power to promote the progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”

Now That’s Great Copywriting

There, in just 32 words, the Constitution provided an incentive for entrepreneurs to share their innovations in a way that benefits both them (“exclusive right”) and the general public (“limited Times”).

It’s effective, obviously, for protecting the rights of “authors” and “inventors” in the traditional sense (e.g., those who write novels or devise new hardware). But it also provides effective protection in areas where the lines have blurred in ways the founding fathers could not have foreseen — such as social media posts and software programs.

As technology has evolved, the two key phrases in the copyright clause — “Science” and “useful Arts” — have remained conceptually intertwined but have basically switched meanings. In the eighteenth century, “Science” meant information while “useful Arts” meant manufactured goods. In the 21st century, “Science” evokes technology such as tablets while “useful Arts” could now be a quaint synonym for intellectual property.

So what does all this have to do with Programmatic Direct Mail®? A lot, actually.

Mad Men with Smartphones

Advertising is the ultimate intersection of art and science. Fifty years ago, in the Mad Men era, it was clear where the emphasis lay. Advertising was called the art of persuasion, not the science of persuasion. Storytelling and image-making were the keys to a successful campaign.

The problem was, if the campaign wasn’t successful, it was hard to figure out why because the science was inexact. Analytics don’t work on gut instincts.

More recently, during the surge of venture capital-fueled technology, science gained the upper hand. Big data ruled. Click rate mattered more than response rate. There was a race to the bottom of the funnel.

And too often storytelling and image-making — the art — got lost in the digital shuffle.

Now we’re seeing signs that the pendulum is swinging back again. That’s to be expected; advances in any industry tend to result in a brief period of overreliance on new technology, often with regrettable results. (When it first came out, the Moog Synthesizer resulted in some of the most embarrassingly bad popular music ever recorded.) Then the infatuation passes, and that industry refocuses on its core mission.

I think that’s starting to happen in this space. Yes, venture capital and computing advances powered a surge in big data, computational speeds, natural language processing and smart machines. But that was merely the foundation for the next great advance — not the advance itself.

Now we’ve reached a point where we’re ready to use that new foundation to build something more advanced than direct response advertising. It’s time to start climbing back up the funnel toward greater consideration and awareness. Toward delivering the right message in the right channel to the right person at the right time.

To do that, we have to further blur the lines in the time-honored copyright clause. We have to consider science when shaping a marketing message, and refine the art of developing data segments to find and engage consumers at scale.

Art and science. Science and art. When they’re woven together smartly and creatively in advertising, the winners are marketers, publishers and consumers.

At PebblePost, we couldn’t be happier to be a part of this evolutionary process. Having created a revolutionary new marketing channel through Programmatic Direct Mail®, we know we have the science right. But we’re also focused on getting the art right. That’s just what the Constitution intended: to form a more perfect union between the heart and the mind.

Adam Solomon is VP Product at PebblePost. His diverse background includes stints as an aerospace engineer and patent attorney with a Master’s in intellectual property law, plus 20 years in consumer media and marketing. That’s given him both an abstract and a practical perspective on Programmatic Direct Mail®.

Second Time’s the Charm

Feeling the labor pains of Q4? For many online retailers, the last quarter of the year is akin to childbirth: pain mixed with euphoria then depression and anxiety. That digital marketing blitz gave your business a nice bump, mostly from one-time buyers. Start the New Year strong with a new plan for converting those one-and-done into repeat buyers and even loyal customers. Read CEO and Marketing Land Columnist Lewis Gersh‘s suggestions here.

Let us know how you’re prepping for 2017 in the comments.


World of Watches Clocks in 59% Response Rate with Programmatic Direct Mail®

Via Retail TouchPoints: World of Watches wanted to influence its customers without getting lost in the noise of digital. Partnering with PebblePost, the brand leveraged Programmatic Direct Mail® to re-engage and encourage visitors to return to the site with an incentive to purchase house brands before they searched competitors. With a 59% Response Rate and 37x Return on Ad Spend, World of Watches has moved from a test of Programmatic Direct Mail® to an evergreen strategy in its marketing mix.

“PebblePost gave us both a competitive advantage at an attractive cost and another means to communicate with an audience who’s inclined to buy from direct mail as opposed to purely online,” said Russell Ackner, CMO of Swiss Watch International, parent company of World of Watches, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We saw an immediate way to communicate with a tangible media that has a longer shelf life than email or ads and can change the perception of our brand and shopping experience. Best of all, it is tied to that consumer’s expressed interest in our brands.”

Read the full story on Retail TouchPoints.


PebblePost Named to Top 100 NYC Startups

Berlin-based the Hundert releases its “powerful visual expression of the tech scene in New York” with the introduction of the 100 most exciting startups in the city.

PebblePost was named one of the most thrilling startups in the magazine across 35 industries (available for download here) alongside Casper, Bark & Co., Adore Me, Thinx and many more.

The 100 finalists were selected by an expert panel of 40 judges including Arianna Huffington (Founder, The Huffington Post), Ben Lerer (Managing Partner, Lerer Hippeau Ventures), Philippe von Borries (Co-Founder and CEO, Refinery29), Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (Chairman, Spitzberg Partners) and Henry Blodget (Co-Founder and CEO, Business Insider).

Read the full release via the Hundert here.

Photo credits: © Saskia Uppenkamp
Pictured from left: Tom Gibbons (Co-Founder, VP Product Experience and Design), Lewis Gersh (Co-Founder, CEO) and Rob Victor (Co-Founder, CTO)


PebblePost® Appoints David Bell and Lynn Wunderman to Board of Directors

NEW YORK – November 15, 2016 – PebblePost®, the inventor of Programmatic Direct Mail®, today announced that David Bell, current senior advisor to AOL and former senior advisor to Google, and Lynn Wunderman, founding president and CEO of I-Behavior, have been elected to PebblePost’s Board of Directors. Bell and Wunderman bring unparalleled expertise in media, marketing, and digital technology, working with the world’s largest brand advertisers and ad agencies.

David Bell has served as CEO of the ad industry’s largest companies: Bozell Worldwide, True North Communications, and Interpublic Group. He held various positions at Bozell Worldwide that led to his appointment as CEO, where he became a major factor in its growth to a company worth more than $600 million.

“PebblePost has created an innovative solution for digital marketers at a critical moment in advertising when consumers have become increasingly more sophisticated about and protective of their experiences across devices. They’ve provided big brand marketers and agencies a powerful way to really connect with audiences without the issues plaguing digital today like viewability, fraud, and ad blocking,” said Bell.

Mr. Bell is currently a senior advisor to AOL and was a senior advisor to Google from 2006 to 2009. He is also the chairman of gyro, named the 2016 Business-to-Business Agency of the Year by Advertising Age and the Business Marketing Association’s Global B-to-B Agency of the Year for the past three years. In addition, he holds board positions with Creative Realities, DoubleVerify, Resonate Networks, Dstillery, and Time Inc. An Advertising Hall of Fame inductee, Mr. Bell is the only advertising executive to lead all four industry associations.

Lynn Wunderman was the founding President and CEO of I-Behavior, a co-operative database company serving the targeting needs of multichannel marketers, sold to WPP in 2010. I-Behavior was first to capture SKU-level transactions, to provide attitudinal targeting, and to apply the co-op business model to internet advertising through its aCerno behavioral targeting division.

Understanding the true power behind its platform, Ms. Wunderman says that “PebblePost is disrupting the communications industry by capturing real-time data that brings a level of recency and relevance never before possible in sending messages to a consumer’s home. With my background in data-driven targeting and direct-to-consumer marketing, I’m confident our digital-to-direct mail platform will deliver unprecedented performance for marketers while enhancing the overall consumer experience — a true win for all.”

Prior to I-Behavior, Ms. Wunderman was founding partner of Wunderman, Sadh & Associates and President, Chief Operating Officer of Marketing Information Technologies, Inc. (now an Experian company); and SVP, Director of Strategic Planning and Information Management at Ogilvy & Mather Direct.

Ms. Wunderman also currently serves on the advisory boards of several early-stage media and technology companies, including: ENDAI – a digital marketing agency, METAFUSED – a decision engine for marketing intelligence, SOLETICS – a smart wearables technology company, TUO SYSTEMS – an automated online ordering platform, and WIOFFER, a 2nd-screen interactive ad platform.

“David and Lynn are tremendous additions to our esteemed Board of Directors. Their combined expertise in operations and digital platforms, and deep knowledge of retail, travel, hospitality, and automotive among many others will inform our strategic planning and growth over the next year,” said Lewis Gersh, CEO of PebblePost. “We are laser focused on enhancing efficacy and efficiency for digital marketers and look forward to David and Lynn’s leadership and actionable insights into how best to scale our vision.”

For more information about PebblePost, please visit,

About PebblePost®
PebblePost invented Programmatic Direct Mail® to transform real-time online activity into personalized, dynamically rendered direct mail that’s delivered into postal hubs within 12-24 hours, every day. The company’s patent pending digital-to-direct mail platform integrates segmentation, campaign management, production, analytics and optimization. PebblePost combines the power of intent data with the effectiveness of in-home to achieve far higher response, conversion rates and ROAS. PebblePost® is a venture-backed company based in NYC.


Media Contact:
North 6th Agency, Inc. (For PebblePost)

ABC News Radio’s Tech Zone talks programmatic with CEO Lewis Gersh

Tech Zone host Paul Amadeus Lane interviewed PebblePost CEO Lewis Gersh for his show airing Sunday, October 30 on ABC News KMET 1490 AM. The full interview is available on his YouTube channel here.

Paul and Lewis dig into Programmatic Direct Mail and what this innovation means for digital marketers. Also hear Lewis’ predictions for what’s ahead for digital and martech.




Boxed and Hershey’s Create Programmatic Catalog™ Campaign

Sweet news for Halloween fans. Boxed in partnership with Hershey’s has launched a Halloween-themed Programmatic Catalog™. Dedicated to Hershey’s products offered on, the catalog will also feature recipes created for those products.

“It’s truly targeted and relevant to users who have already shown interest in similar products, and they will get it in an extremely relevant and timely manner,” says Nitasha Mehta, Associate Director, Reengagement Marketing at Boxed.

Read the full story on Retail TouchPoints here.