Open Enrollment | Subscribe to Target Marketing HERE
Connect
Follow us on
Advertisement
 
Ken Magill

The Whole Magilla

By Ken Magill

About Ken

If there’s one word that most aptly describes Ken Magill’s coverage of online marketing, it’s fearless. For more than a decade, Magill has built a reputation for calling it like he sees it no matter who may get offended. Some marketers read his column just to make sure they’re not in it. In a trade-publishing market populated mostly by vendor representatives who must watch what they say, Magill stands out as the one guy who says what he thinks. Moreover, he often writes what others are thinking, but are afraid to say. He can even be very funny.

Having been a direct marketer, and having covered online marketing since 1997 for DM News, Direct, Chief Marketer and Multichannel Merchant magazines, Magill offers a unique, informed perspective on the evolution of digital selling. He was also founding editor of trade weekly iMarketing News and Magilla Marketing, a newsletter dedicated to e-mail.

He is currently founding editor of the recently launched trade weekly email newsletter The Magill Report.

 

Making Social Sell

Jeff Molander
3 Ways to Waste Time on LinkedIn, but Feel Good About It
Sep 19, 2014

Ever feel like beating down all those bad tips for LinkedIn that we've all had enough of? You know, the...



Direct Mail for the Modern Marketer

Summer Gould
Direct Mail Design: Color
Sep 18, 2014

Designing for direct mail can be broken up into three segments: layout, color/images and copy. Since these can all be...



Ruthless B-to-B Marketing

Ruth P.  Stevens
B-to-B Marketers Still Struggle With Lead Nurturing
Sep 18, 2014

I thought it was widely understood by now that staying in touch with a prospect who has shown some interest...



Reinventing Direct

Gary Hennerberg
Copywriting for the Left Brain/Right Brain
Sep 17, 2014

Writing copy for how the left brain and right brain processes information can make all the difference in your sales...



Brand Matters

Andrea Syverson
Is It Time for a True Goodbye?
Sep 16, 2014

As I reflected on a client interaction I had this week, I thought about how helpful it is for organizations...



Marketing Sustainably

Chet Dalzell
Death of the Agency? Not So Fast ...
Sep 15, 2014

The last season of "Mad Men" is approaching, but let's not be so fast to bury the ad agency with...



The Power Punch

Carolyn Goodman
Blogs: The Long and Short of It
Sep 12, 2014

Many marketers struggle over blog content—and that's never more apparent than when you stare blankly at your screen, hoping for...



Big Data, Small Data, Clean Data, Messy Data

Stephen  H. Yu
Freeform Data Are Not Exactly Free
Sep 11, 2014

Whenever "Big Data" is mentioned, there follows this sick stat that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are being collected every...



Mobile-First Marketing

Greg Hoy
Zeroing in on Your Consumers With Geo-Marketing
Sep 10, 2014

Mobile geo-marketing is growing at a rapid rate. This growth is driven by applications such as navigation, local search and...



Marketing Nuggets

Michael Lowenstein
1-Trick Ponies and Customer Loyalty Behavior
Sep 9, 2014

About 30 years ago, Paul Simon wrote a song entitled "One-Trick Pony." The song describes a performing pony that has...



The Integrated Email

Cyndie Shaffstall
Email to Support Your Shopping Cart
Sep 8, 2014

Your website provides you with real estate for validating claims and educating customers, and should be a critical part of...



Keeping Search Profitable

Amanda G. Watlington, Ph.D.
Should You Make Your Site Secure for Improved SEO Results?
Sep 2, 2014

Just this past month Google confirmed that in the future, its search algorithm would be giving a rankings boost to...



Muscle Marketing

Wendy Montes de Oca
Penguin 3.0 Is Coming and It’s Time to Clean House
Aug 28, 2014

Anyone who's involved in Internet marketing can tell you that Penguin is more than a cute little seabird that lives...



Triple Venti Dolce Data...

Vince Pickett
Clue Me In, Please
Aug 21, 2013

So here we are, halfway through 2013. You, along with everyone, are still trying to find that magic formula to...



Who's Your Data?

Rio Longacre
Instagram: Does It Matter That It Will Make Money on Your Pics?
Dec 19, 2012

Instagram announced the company will soon begin using your content to sell targeted advertising products to the highest bidder. Does...



SEO & Content Marketing Revue

Heather Lloyd-Martin
5 Tips for Top Positioning (And Converting) Page Titles
Aug 11, 2010

Wondering about a SEO content strategy that offers the biggest impact in the shortest time? Try tweaking your page titles....



Here's What Counts

Chuck McLeester
Planning ROI? Turn the Funnel Upside-Down
Aug 26, 2014

Many marketers use a funnel to illustrate the progression from prospect to buyer because the narrowing graphic neatly shows the...



Yblog

Yory Wurmser
Privacy in the Age of Big Data
Jul 10, 2013

Consumers reveal more than ever before consciously through social media and, just as importantly, unconsciously through their behaviors. This data...



Online Video Marketing Deep Dive

Eve Grey
Are Your Videos Champions of Your Brand?
Feb 3, 2014

If you advertise in an ordinary way, it's safe to expect ordinary results. However, when you take the extreme and...



Think Mobility

Greg Hickman
‘I Can't Because, I Need ... ’
Oct 7, 2013

Does this sound like you? Have you ever set up a goal, but then realized (either quickly or too late)...



Denny Hatch's Blog

Denny Hatch
The Internet Can Make You a Chump—Forever!
Sep 25, 2010

Trouble is, the Internet is rife with misinformation and if you get caught advertently or inadvertently propagating this nonsense in...



How a Dirty Mind Can Help Save Your Creative

3
 
My journalism mentor Charlie Adair [RIP] was an utterly twisted human being, but in the best way imaginable for a student who wanted to learn to be the best reporter he could be.

He could have taught marketers a thing or too, as well—for example, about empathy, hitting deadline, and always thinking on one's feet.

The final exams for Charlie's infamous interviewing course were legendary for putting students in excruciatingly uncomfortable positions.

According to a post on his eulogy, one class "was merely given phone numbers to call for interviews. The students discovered people who were blind, who had AIDS, who were in great distress—all assembled by Charlie for the exercise."

"Typical Charlie," I thought as I read it.

For another exam, he loaded the entire class into an Econoline van, drove them to the front gate of New York's Attica state prison and told them to go in and get quotes from lifers.

The final exam for my interviewing class was a quote scavenger hunt that included having to find, phone and quote people who were obscurely referenced—maybe by just a name or nickname. This was before the Internet.

My exam also involved getting a quote from Buffalo, NY's then mayor Jimmy Griffin, a man legendary for physical altercations with reporters.

I aced that exam. For example, I knew Mayor Griffin would get increasingly agitated by the calls from Charlie's students and would stop accepting them, so I made sure I was first.

Charlie called his interviewing class "boot camp for the terminally over privileged."

Just before he died, I met him for lunch during a trip back to Buffalo. After we shook hands, I produced a copy of iMarketing News, the dot-com trade newspaper I had launched for DM News.

"Everything you taught me is in play in this newspaper," I said. "Your name's not on it, but you're all through it."

He died in 2000 from unexpected complications from what was supposed to be minor surgery. He was 58.

I think of Charlie often, especially when circumstances arise that he warned us would come about.

In fact, I thought of Charlie recently and how he would have chuckled when an email arrived from the Obama team with "Michelle" in the "from" line.

"Sometime soon, I want to meet you," said the subject line.

Team Obama could use a Charlie Adair.

One of the simplest but most enduring lessons he taught me was that the best editors have dirty minds. They can help avoid publishing embarrassing copy with unintended meanings.

For example, I once saved a reporter from including a line in her piece about a football practice bubble that had been "problem plagued since its erection."

If a Charlie Adair were on team Obama, he would have told them that subject line in the "Michelle" email sounded like something from a pornography spammer.

Everyone can use a Charlie Adair on their copy team-including you. That guy or gal on your team with the dirty mind could mean the difference between a sale and a giggle.

Sections:

3

COMMENTS

Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments: