Arthur Middleton Hughes Leaves a Rich Direct Marketing Leadership Legacy
Peggy Garner, Director, Marketing Communications at KBM Group—where Hughes worked from 2004 to 2008—was also saddened to hear of his passing and surprised after reading his obituary that Hughes had such a multifaceted personality. For instance, he'd advised presidents prior to becoming a direct marketing icon and was a skilled pianist.
Garner notes Hughes was so open with his direct marketing skill, he often shared it with the Target Marketing audience.
"He was such a bundle of energy and a pleasure to know," Garner tells Target Marketing on Thursday. "He was so popular with the young people [in] the direct marketing community, especially internationally. I remember one time at a DMA conference, we were doing a book signing for one of his latest books and the people started lining up early to meet him. Most of them were young and from outside the U.S. They were so excited to meet him and get their picture taken with him. I told him he was a rock star!"
Hughes founded the Database Marketing Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and was its VP when Target Marketing's 2009 Direct Marketer of the Year, Pegg Nadler, cited him as a direct marketing visionary who influenced her career.
"I was one of the lucky ones to spend some time with Arthur Hughes," Nadler writes in an email to Target Marketing. "Long before I sat with him over a lively dinner at a direct marketing conference in Florida many years ago, I had read nearly all of his books on database marketing. Since the early 1990s, I always shared his article on 'Why Databases Fail' with countless clients as an example of what not to do when building and operating marketing databases. His approach was sensible and straightforward.
"What I will remember most about Arthur was the nonstop twinkle in his eyes—which would shine even brighter when you presented him with a debate or challenged him in the basic applications of RFM, database marketing or statistical analysis," Nadler continues. "He would never miss an opportunity to give you heck of a scolding if he thought you were on the wrong path. He was a true character indeed—filled with plenty of opinions, a math professor at heart, and a relentless lobbyist for database marketing."