J. Walker Smith

You've been hearing a great deal about doing the right thing, from reducing your impact on the environment to making it easy for customers and prospects to better control their relationships with your firm, and so on. If your company has been following this ideal, then you know the beginning to right actions is right thoughts, which also lead to right words. And at the present, the right words are what Americans crave—from businesses as well as politicians.

So far, the legislation passed by Congress to bail out the financial services sector has provided only a marginal amount of comfort to consumers. The markets continue to see-saw, reports on the economic climate point to the need for more belt-tightening and consumers nervously wait to see how deep this financial trouble will go.

As boomers ease into retirement, Generation Y is rising on the heels of Generation X as the next wave of culture shapers and decision makers. Gen Yers fall between the ages of 14 and 31 years old and comprise about a quarter of the total U.S. population. Marketers may have reservations about sending direct mail to this tech-savvy group. “This is definitely a generation that is much more electronically driven, so I don’t think direct mail is really going to be in their sweet spot,” says J. Walker Smith, president of the Monitor Group, in Yankelovich’s Chapel Hill, N.C. office. For Gen Y, mail

Many a metaphor is used in conjunction with the hours that dictate our lives, yet one such well-known maxim—“Time is money”— takes on a much less abstract meaning when a dollar value is applied. Specifically, $1.25 a minute. That’s the exact amount J. Walker Smith, CEO of database and segmentation solutions firm Yankelovich, purports your customers’ time is worth. If a marketer doesn’t maximize every second (or cent, as the case may be), “expect them to walk away,” he says. Here, Smith details three questions a marketer must ask himself to determine just how sensible it is for a prospect to make a time investment

By Hallie Mummert Target Marketing talks to industry experts about the trends that are shaping the way direct marketers do business. If it feels as if the floor is moving beneath your feet these days, it's not just your nervous knees knocking together as you map out your direct marketing program's path. Major changes in culture, technology and process are occurring that will radically alter today's business model, pushing direct marketing in new directions, too. This business revolution is both information- and customer-driven and, if direct marketers don't catch up with these trends, it could be government-driven. Of the eight industry experts interviewed for

By Donna Baier Stein If you've seen "I [heart] Huckabees," you either loved or hated it. The movie talks mostly about consciousness as two "detectives" (Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin) help others figure out the meaning of life. Seems to me that conscious-ness is something we marketers need to expand in these interesting and challenging days. It's been a year since Yankelovich Partners President J.Walker Smith, while giving a speech entitled "The Vision of Home: Generational Lifestyle Value," identified a "Post Accumulation Marketplace" that "want(s) intangibles, experiences and service, but no 'stuff' left over." In addition to the "stuff" we're selling, we're creating a

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