Thorin McGee (contributor)

Thorin McGee (contributor)
The Year Marketing Takes Power?

The world of marketing changed 20 years ago, in 1995. That's the year Amazon and Ebay both launched to the public—the first year online shopping really became a thing—and commerce was never the same.

Can You Make Technology Part of the Marketing Team?

While making an emotional connection with customers is becoming more important, most of the experts we interviewed for this article saw technology as part of the solution, not the problem. The trick is not just to have technology that works for you, but to be able to use technology as an extension of your marketing department. Can you make technology part of the marketing team?

Can You Move Beyond the Marketing Campaign?

Since the earliest days of direct marketing—and brand marketing, for that matter—efforts have been measured in the pseudo-military terminology of "the campaign." You have an objective, a plan, the resources to implement it, and you attack. The campaign succeeds or fails, then you go back to the drawing board to work on your next campaign.

Can You Offer Emotional Value to Your Customers?

With all the emphasis on data and technology in today's marketing, it's too easy to forget that marketing is an emotional discipline. As the recession falls further into the past, we're seeing more and more that customers who've been primarily concerned about price for years are now looking for a reason, almost any reason, to choose a brand based on something more. Can your marketing meet the needs of these customers?

Can You Prove the Value of Marketing to the C-suite?

One of the biggest advantages of direct marketing has always been that it's highly accountable. You spend the money to create a campaign (whether via direct mail, email, telephone, pay-per-click ads, or what have you), and you can see clearly how that converts and how those conversions lead to sales, revenue and an impact on your bottom line.

Help Your Customers Help You

I made it to the Dreamforce convention in San Francisco for the first time this year. It’s a massive show—100,000-plus attendees, a staggering number for what is essentially a big Salesforce 
user conference.

The Big Qs of 2015

Every year has its own challenges, trends and "Big Qs." But as we head into 2015, the kinds of topics we're hearing discussed by our readers and other marketers are changing. From the big conventions like ad:tech, DMA and Dreamforce, to social media and comments we're seeing on our articles, marketers seem to have put the recession questions of 2012 (the last time we did a Big Qs article) behind them.

Acting on Innovation

Every month or so, we meet here in the pages of this magazine and talk about all the great things direct marketers can do with today's marketing technology. There's a lot of innovation going on.

Marketing's Biggest Challenges: 1. Cutting Through the Clutter

Breaking through the wall of noise clients and prospects are staring at each day has become one of the top challenges for marketers, according to a recent Target Marketing roundtable of marketing insiders and industry leaders. Here's how they see it, and how they're meeting that challenge.

What's Missing in Marketing?

Henry Ford supposedly said, "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses." That's often interpreted to mean you shouldn't ask what people want, because how can they know they want something they've never imagined?

Improve Your Marketing Mind

What’s the secret to better marketing and ROI? There’s no single answer to that, but I bet everyone reading this would like to find a way to convert a bit better. I bet we’d all like to know a better way to try new marketing technologies, media channels and platforms. Questions arise, such as:

So Now Marketers Are Racists?

The much-anticipated White House report on Big Data may have invented an issue even more problematic to marketers than privacy: Is personalized marketing discriminatory?

Big Data: What Is It Good For?

Big Data has had its turn in the spotlight as the hot, shiny new marketing technology toy. The question it's left for many marketers is, "Yeah, but what's it good for?" Data for data's sake doesn't get any company closer to its goals (except maybe Facebook and Google). So how can you actually use data to close the gap with your customers and get closer to those goals? We asked William Rand

Twitter Becomes Ultimate Impulse Marketplace via Amazon

Some would say the modern world has gotten more convenient, with everything from the works of Plato to khakis available with a few swipes of the smartphone. Others would call it impulsive (perhaps even compulsive?). But what if visiting the online portals for those things was just too time consuming? Now, people can shop on Amazon right out of Twitter. If 140 characters, and maybe a picture, is enough to convince them to buy, all they have to do is reply with #AmazonCart and it'll be added to their Amazon carts.