After 23 years with North American Publishing Co., this is my final online column for Target Marketing. It has been a glorious ride!
With no coverage of direct mail in media, direct marketers will believe “Direct Mail Is Dead.” Ergo these billions in ad spend direct mail should morph over to digital media.
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.
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.
Marketers are in the business of creating wants, NOT satisfying needs. Creating WANTS is damned hard work.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our friends Kathleen and Jim signed up for the Blue Apron meal service. The company sends approximately 2 million meals a month across the country to foodies who love to do adventurous cooking.
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.
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.
Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) — a division of Grand Circle Travel — offers exotic trips that put tourists into the heart and soul of foreign countries and peoples. Dispatches is OAT's public relations magazine exclusively for repeat travelers and filled with snapshots and personal essays by happy tourists in faraway places.
I love it when readers comment on columns. Whether thumbs-up or thumbs-down, interaction is delicious — and valuable.