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October 2007 Issue

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Famous Last Words: A Mad, Mad World!
This past August 10, using a mind-numbing 2,900 words, Alexandra Alter of The Wall Street Journal recounted the bizarre tale of Ric Hoogestraat, 53, a burly, mustachioed Internet addict whose burly, mustachioed avatar on Second Life spends “14 hours at...
Nuts & Bolts: Tech Talk
Go Retail to Web E-commerce application platform and services provider MarketLive has introduced FastTrack, an e-commerce solution designed to help retailers launch a fully optimized B-to-C e-commerce site in three months or less. FastTrack includes more than 200 e-commerce features...
B-to-B Insights: What Are We Doing Here? (Part Two)
In my June 2007 column—before taking a break to unload my summer reading list—I started to talk about the aspects of B-to-B direct marketing that appeal to me. Since the folks here at Target Marketing sensibly allow me only a...
E-commerce Link: E-mail on Steroids
Do you monitor your competitors’ e-mail programs? If so, you may note some appear to be addicted to frequency and often send several messages a week. Under most circumstances, this is a misguided attempt to keep in front of their...
Market Focus: Accountants: Play the Numbers Game
Accountants are the best of both worlds: As affluent consumers, they are a great target market—but they also influence the purchasing habits of millions of clients, making them doubly valuable as prospects and customers. The Money Market In the U.S.,...
Keep Them in the Fold
Done well, continuity marketing can be quite a lucrative business. But it also can be a risky business as the profit from continuity marketing comes from a marketer’s ability to acquire a customer once and ship paid products to him...
Nuts & Bolts: Case Study
Challenge: Improve Web traffic/sales through SEO Solution: Use buzzworthy anecdotes, video and catchy titles Results: A 14-percent increase in blog-driven sales and spikes of 1,000 sessions per day after each post that contribute to repeat traffic Steve Spangler, famous for...
Nuts & Bolts: Global Update
If you have a Web presence and a universally applicable product, chances are you’re already running an international business. But have you given any thought to maximizing this opportunity with deliberate and targeted marketing efforts? Don’t leave potentially easy money...
What a Customer Wants
The customer rules. These three words seem simple enough at first glance. Yet look a little deeper, and they reflect the recent enormous changes in consumer behavior and technology that are forcing leading companies to bring their products, services and...
Search Engine Marketing: Search Gets Social
Following the trend toward holistic online marketing, more companies are leveraging social networks for better search engine marketing (SEM) performance. Jeannette Kocsis, vice president of digital marketing at San Antonio-based direct and targeted marketing solutions provider Harte-Hanks Inc., says the...
Search Engine Marketing: Special Report
With key phrases replacing keywords in search engine marketing (SEM) and driving the long-tail economy, marketers continue to look for tools to maximize paid search conversions and create more efficient organic search. In this report, Alan Rimm-Kaufman zeroes in on...
Search Engine Marketing: Three Big Ideas For Your SEM Campaigns … Now!
Search has revolutionized advertising. For many direct retailers, search has become the leading advertising channel for customer acquisition, and its importance still is growing. Here are three big ideas to help you get more from your paid search marketing (SEM)...
Search Engine Marketing: Search Has a New Friend—DRTV
Orkin, the 106-year-old, Atlanta-based pest control giant successfully leveraged direct response television (DRTV) for SEM optimization this August, resulting in better search engine query requests and an increase in impressions and clickthrough rates. Coordinating SEM campaigns with DRTV commercials helps...
Brand Matters: The Joy of Branding
Developing and strengthening a company’s brand brings me great joy. It is at the heart of all I do with companies. Before I can help a company develop new plans, new markets, new products, new processes, new ventures or new...
Nuts & Bolts: Eye on Privacy
Right now, 38 states have consumer notification laws for data breaches. In addition, a handful of bills are making their way through Capitol Hill on the same topic. Taken together, these laws and proposals have myriad combinations and permutations of...
When Online Goes Offline
Marketers tend to approach online and offline marketing as two separate challenges that require different sets of solutions. It often is assumed that in the world of online marketing, online data is the only data that matters. Similarly, when executing...
Direct Marketer of the Year: Brian Kurtz, executive vice president, Boardroom Inc.
March 30, 1981. To the world, this was the day that John Hinckley, Jr. tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan, just 70 days into his first term. To the direct marketing industry, this was the day that Brian Kurtz stepped...
Why Customers Leave …
Most companies assume that their customers are highly price-sensitive. They design their marketing programs with this idea in mind. When they have sales, more people buy. When their products or services are not on sale, less people buy. What more...
Smile—and Flash Your pURLy Sites
Direct marketers have worked for decades to personalize their contacts with customers. Back in the 1940s, for example, after a human typed “Dear Eric” on the first line of a sheet of paper, the remainder of the sales pitch would...
Lessons Learned and Shared
Having spent 26 years involved in various facets of direct marketing and having worked with some of the brightest minds in the field, Kurtz is at a perfect place to pass on what he’s learned—and so he does, through speaking...
Video Revolution
TV advertising is under attack with daily news headlines dripping with portents of doom. The funny thing is, it’s our industry colleagues who repeat the alarmist refrain. Media consumption is hopelessly fragmented. Viewership is dwindling. When people do watch TV,...
Editor’s Notes: The Brand Called Brian Kurtz
At least a decade ago, I saw a cover line for an article in Fast Company magazine that literally stopped me in my tracks. It read, “The Brand Called You.” Written by top management consultant and business visionary Tom Peters,...
Message Within a Message
To get a sense of what role transaction-oriented e-mails can play in a marketing program, let’s look at some relevant statistics. First, the average company sends 23 million e-mails per year, reports Forrester Research. Next, Forrester also contends that more...