Yory Wurmser

Yblog identifies emerging trends in the fast-changing landscape of media and marketing and finds fun and often surprising connections—with real-time implications for direct marketers.

Yory Wurmser currently writes and consults on marketing and media trends for clients interested in innovating through new media and the data it produces. This is an extension of what he did for six years at the Direct Marketing Association, ultimately as the head of the Research Department. As director of marketing and media insights, he revamped DMA's publications to focus more on digital media and developed partnerships with leading research companies, including Econsultancy, Ipsos and Winterberry Group. He also developed internal strategic research and recommendations to help DMA adapt to the new marketing world. Prior to DMA, Wurmser ran a boutique management consulting and coaching firm and, in an earlier lifetime, earned a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University. He lives near New York City with his wife and three daughters.

Reach him at Ywurmser@gmail.com.

As times change, so do effective marketing strategies. What used to work in 2017 may no longer do this year. What are some strategies that we need to let go of? And is there an alternative to replace them?

Consumers reveal more than ever before consciously through social media and, just as importantly, unconsciously through their behaviors. This data gives marketers great power, which they can use to design better products, hone messages and, most importantly, sell more by providing consumers what they want. That's all good from a marketer's perspective, but for consumers, the scope of data collection can often cross a line, becoming too intrusive or too loosely held. Marketers have to balance the opportunities of Big Data with the concerns of consumers or they risk a serious backlash.

Native advertising is the latest buzzword. Even venerable publishers such as The New York Times, The Atlantic and Forbes, are trying it out. Is the trend bound to fade, or is it here to stay? Despite some shoddy applications, it's here to stay.

Data makes the modern marketing world go round. More data, however, doesn't automatically translate into more insights. Even with the tetrabytes of data collected each day, a lot of it remains atomized and difficult to turn into insights because of gaps between marketing and purchase information. Now credit card companies have begun to fill this void.

… In another first for this edition, DMA compares direct mail response rates over time. The time series reveals that direct mail response rates have dropped nearly 25 percent over the past nine years. Even so, mail campaigns draw a better overall response than digital channels. For instance, response rates for direct mail to an existing customer average 3.40 percent, compared with 0.12 percent for email, which is roughly a 30-fold difference. Costs are also higher, which translates to roughly equivalent costs-per-sale/lead for direct mail, email and paid search.

2012 began with the same slow growth patterns that defined 2011. Marketers reported modest improvements in revenue, campaign profitability and staffing levels between Q1 2012 and Q4 2011, although the rate of growth was slower than the full-year 2011 numbers. On a more positive note, marketers seem more optimistic with projections for the coming quarter. Sixty percent expect revenues driven by digital and direct marketing (DDM) to increase in Q2, compared with just 43 percent that reported increased revenues in Q1.

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