In case you’re new here, our mini marketing interviews feature various Marketers with different areas of expertise. So even if today’s interview isn’t relevant to you, the next one might be.
1. Can you give me a very brief bio about yourself and your company?
Tyson Associates was formed in 1982 to serve the magazine publishing industry as an outsource management firm and supplier of creative work. That’s still our job today. I have worked for magazine publishers on staff and in my own company for my entire career. I am a writer, seminar leader and speaker at trade functions and I teach at the Columbia School of Journalism’s magazine publishing course. I received the 2010 Angelo R. Venezian Award presented by NTCFI for contributions to the advancement of the industry and the circulation discipline.
2. What is your marketing expertise?
My expertise is in circulation management including fulfillment, and the management of all subscription sources. Direct mail marketing of subscriptions is a specialty.
3. Regarding your expertise, if you had to choose one tip to share, what would it be?
If I had to choose one tip to share it would be never, never base what you do in marketing on your or anyone else’s personal opinion. You need to be guided by history because what’s worked in the past will probably work in the future. Any changes in offer, price, creative or lists should be dictated by test results not whim. The importance of valid testing can’t be overstated.
4. What do you think the future of direct marketing is?
Many forecast doom and gloom for the future of direct marketing. But, for most publishers it’s impossible so far to support a rate base without some amount of direct mail. It’s true that many controlled circulation publications no longer use direct mail but that’s not new. The metrics just aren’t there due to rising costs in postage and paper and the reduced cost of telemarketing.
For paid magazines, it’s the same as it’s always been. Maximizing the number of subscription orders from non-mail sources is essential to holding down the cost of a magazine’s direct mail program but once that’s done, you need to close the gap with direct mail sold subscriptions. I don’t see that changing any time soon. Smart publishers market subscriptions using a variety of media – mail, inserts, online, email and agents to name a few.
5. If you use direct mail, what is working for you right now?
What’s working in direct mail for clients right now are traditional packages (#10 and 6 x 9 formats). Vouchers continue to work for many but the stripped down variety have been enhanced with extra enclosures such as buckslips. Premiums are making a comeback and the 2 Years for the Price of 1 offer is as strong as ever.
If you want to be considered for our interview series, please send your answers to the same questions above to Ryan Cote. Thank you!