Mistake # 78: Market via direct mail only

Those were the days. Back in the 70s, 80, and early 90s, you could mail catalogs and marketing pieces to your hearts content, sit on your hands, and watch the returns come in. Oddly enough, several of my clients who are high volume marketers, until recently, were still using this model. They just couldn’t figure out how to readjust their marketing strategy. Honestly! As if they didn’t see the signs about nine years ago!

Certainly, we may see the USPS gone by then. The post office has almost put itself out of business by setting postal compliance with NCOA (National Change of Address), and other Move Update requirements. Now,  postal workers may be going to a five-day delivery with fear of losing more than $6 billion in revenues.

But what will marketing look like in the future? Francis Anderson’s blog, Making a Connection, claims marketing may hit a wall by 2020, indicating that marketers will need to compete for a much smaller share of a large market. Tim Ferriss, author of the 4-Hour Work Week, advocates marketing your products and services to a very narrow and niche market. Both Anderson and Ferris could be considered true visionaries!

What caught my eye this week was the NY Times article on the growth of marketers moving into statistics. Moving into Web 2.0 and the digital world, companies are now turning to statisticians for turning their data into meaningful information to chew on, then move forward with products and services.

I don’t have any profound assumptions or answers to this movement. All I know is that I’m going out in about ten minutes to buy a lottery ticket!


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