Denny Hatch

Denny Hatch

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

6 Giants of the Last 100 Years

Since this is the Target Marketer of the Year issue, let’s reflect on the great marketers of all time. Here are the mentors I wish I had. To this day I continue to read their work and marvel how their marketing philosophy, smarts and rules of the road apply directly to the data-mania environment of today.

3 Truths About Ad Agencies

Ad agency presidents are dazzlers at selling. David Ogilvy, Lester Wunderman and Frank Vos would show up to deliver the pitch. Hire the agency and you are lucky to see these brilliant sweet-talkers once every six months.

Denny’s Zinger: Sell What Ya Got

In 1949, my mother said to book publisher Franklin Watts (who was my first boss in business), “Frank, you have a face like a Toby mug.” Whereupon Frank and Helen hired a sculptor and had 100 Toby mugs made up as pencil holders for Christmas presents to book dealers, wholesalers, jobbers and librarians.

Roosevelt and Hopkins: When Censorship Is Good

In reading dozens of books about World War II, I kept coming across references to a ghostly figure named Harry Hopkins. He had no official title, yet his fingerprints were everywhere. It reached a point where I came to understand Hopkins was — unbelievably — a kind of shadow co-president with Franklin D. Roosevelt. I knew the definitive account was Robert E. Sherwood’s “Roosevelt & Hopkins: An Intimate History” published in 1949 and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize the following year.

Denny’s Zinger: Big Data’s Dreck Data

Twitter sent me this Big Data profile of my Twitter followers: Big Data is the business of scraping the Internet for scraps of information about every person in the country and adding it to our individual electronic dossiers.

Are Grown-ups Running Twitter?

Twitter got my attention. Over the years, I have sent out 1,812 tweets and currently have 786 followers. Sure, I’m curious about the folks who follow me — who have honored me by allowing me into their lives.

Denny’s Zinger: Say Goodbye With Class

Peggy and I moved to the neighborhood in 1993. Our pharmacist was Tancredi Apothecary on Headhouse Square. Proprietor Pat Tancredi was a lovely guy. If a customer failed to renew a prescription, Pat called to see if all was okay. Payment problem? Pat would fill the prescription and personally deliver it — putting it on the cuff.

19 Ironclad Rules for Readable Communications

Tests have shown that a sentence of eight words is very easy to read; of 11 words, easy; of 14 words, fairly easy; of 17 words, standard; of 21 words, fairly difficult; of 25 words, difficult; of 29 or more words, very difficult; so this sentence with 54 words, counting numbers, is ranked impossible.

Denny’s Zinger: A One-word Typo Was a Deal Killer

At best, this one-word typo makes the Lantern people look like chumps. At worst it cost them revenue. If you don’t have a capable copy editor and proofreader in your organization, either hire one fulltime or keep a good freelancer busy.

The Greatest Data-Driven Election

In marketing, the key copy drivers — the seven emotional hot-buttons that make people act — are fear, greed, guilt, anger, exclusivity, salvation and flattery. In 1948, Harry S. Truman pulled all of them out his bag of tricks — at once folksy, snarling and passionate.