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

Thorin McGee is editor-in-chief and content director of Target Marketing and oversees editorial direction and product development for the magazine, website and other channels.

Some recent and mildly frustrating interactions with young marketing colleagues started me wondering about the amazing mentors whose generosity and wisdom shaped my own career. What’s happened, I asked myself, to the time-honored practice of mentoring?

James W. “Jim” Prendergast was literally a direct marketing legend in his own time. More than a decade before his death, the Direct Marketing Club of New York named the golf outing he created “The James W. Prendergast Direct Classic.” Prendergast spent his career working in and giving back to the direct marketing profession. He passed away on Friday. He was 86.

What is it about these buzzwords that speak to the marketer’s soul? Marketers use emotion to get consumers to buy products and services, so it may stand to reason that marketers use the language among themselves. Buzzwords, after all, tap into emotional centers in the right brain, says Harvard Business School professor Nancy Koehn in a 2014 article in the Atlantic.

I’ve been thinking about emotions more than usual lately. Maybe it’s the type of direct mail I’ve been reading lately that sparked it. Swedish direct marketing entrepreneur Axel Andersson and Seattle direct marketer Bob Hacker identified the seven key copy drivers that persuade people to buy a product or service, or to join a cause.

Almost anyone who's flown more than a couple of times knows what the safety instructions entail on a commercial flight. And so most of us ignore them. Delta Airlines recognized this, and chose to create a series of safety videos full of pop culture references and humor to convince even the most seasoned flier to pay attention.

What can marketers do with the 10,000-character tweet limit Twitter is considering allowing? Probably a lot, considering a couple of the social media trends I saw on Wednesday. Thousands of people watched British pedestrians try to safely cross a large puddle, causing more than 50,000 tweets about the

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