Stephen H. Yu

Stephen H. Yu is a world-class database marketer and Associate Principal, Analytics & Insights Practice Lead for eClerx. Stephen has a proven track record in comprehensive strategic planning and tactical execution, effectively bridging the gap between the marketing and technology world with a balanced view obtained from over 28 years of experience in best practices of database marketing. Prior to eClerx, he served as VP, Data Strategy & Analytics at Infogroup, and previously he was the founding CTO of I-Behavior Inc. “As a long-time data player with plenty of battle experiences, I would like to share my thoughts and knowledge that I obtained from being a bridge person between the marketing world and the technology world. In the end, data and analytics are just tools for decision-makers; let’s think about what we should be (or shouldn’t be) doing with them first. And the tools must be wielded properly to meet the goals, so let me share some useful tricks in database design, data refinement process and analytics.” Reach him at Stephen.Yu@eclerx.com.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

One-dimensional techies will be replaced by machines in the near future. So what if they're the smartest ones in the room? If decision-makers can't use data, does the information really exist?

What is it about these buzzwords that speak to the marketer’s soul? Marketers use emotion to get consumers to buy products and services, so it may stand to reason that marketers use the language among themselves. Buzzwords, after all, tap into emotional centers in the right brain, says Harvard Business School professor Nancy Koehn in a 2014 article in the Atlantic.

The thing about predictive analytics is that the quality of a prediction is eventually exposed — clearly cut as right or wrong. There are casually incorrect outcomes, like a weather report failing to accurately declare at what time the rain will start, and then there are total shockers, like the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

There are data geeks and there are data scientists. Then there are data plumbers, and there are total posers. In this modern world where the line between “real” and “fake” is ever-blurrier, some may not even care for such differences.

Like any resource like water, data may be locked in wrong places or in inadequate forms. We hear about all kinds of doomsday scenarios related to the water supply in Africa, and it is because of uneven distribution of water thanks to drastic climate change and border disputes.

Recently, I participated in a panel discussion at a major e-commerce conference. The topic was about the “Future of Marketing,” and naturally, the discussion went towards the Internet of Things and other futuristic technologies. The key question was, “How should marketers adapt to these rapidly evolving technologies?”

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