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Internet Buyers-The New Castrati (676 words)
March 1, 2001

By Denny Hatch The equivalent of rock stars in the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe were the castrati, former choir boys whose soprano voices were so pure and exquisite they were subjected to castration. Said one writer, "[The castrati] were frequently described as having the 'voices of angels.' This was no doubt due to the combination of a child's fresh voice with the vocal power of a man, and the high register of a woman." Being neutered did not make for connubial bliss, but the money was great and, socially, these eunuchs were lionized. Recently, my friend Russell Perkins, one of the

Internet Special Report - Re-Learning the Basics of Marketing (
February 1, 2001

by Dev Bhata In 1993, before Web marketing even existed, Don Peppers and Martha Rogers published the most important book on the subject of marketing to an audience of one: "The One To One Future." The authors described the importance of knowing and marketing to individual customers and establishing one-to-one relationships with them. They said the fax machine and fax bulletin boards as harbingers of the new dialogues were possible, if only marketers would take the time to get to know their customers. It took the Web to make Peppers and Rogers' ideas come alive. Newly minted Web marketers took the book as their

How to Drive Federal Buyers to Your Web Site (950 words)
February 1, 2001

By Mark Amtower If you seek a customer who buys just about every type of product and service imaginable, look no further than Uncle Sam. Ignore the horror stories you may have heard about arcane processes such as needing a GSA number or some other government contract, or how slowly the Feds pay vendors. The federal government has more than 500,000 small purchase (i.e., less than $2,500) credit cards that were used more than 25 million times in fiscal year 2000. Total spent: $12.2 billion. By far the greatest beneficiaries of this largess are catalogers and other direct marketers selling on the

50+ Web Surfers (944 words)
January 1, 2001

Web surfers age 50 or older are the fastest-growing demographic for online music sales, according to a recent Media Metrix study. Online marketers should take notice of this growing number of Web-savvy seniors. Trendiness won't work for a group that has been setting trends for decades. Candace Corlett, senior partner at 50+ Marketing Directions, advises to shift your marketing messages from 'cool' to 'smart.' "Whirling, dancing, animated stuff is great for the younger set, but generally silly to the senior surfer," she says. Media streams and flashy graphics aren't going to reach this set. "Emphasize service over price. The 50-plus crowd has

Is the Internet Eden or Armageddon? (1,887 words)
September 1, 2000

by Denny Hatch In the place without place, anarchy reigns once worked for a cherubic-faced, hard-drinking publisher named Franklin Watts. "Good morning, Frank," I would say each day. "How are you?" "Happy as a country without a history," he'd respond. How long has it been since the Internet was without a history and considered the new Garden of Eden—a paradise of investor and intellectual euphoria unmatched in the entire spectrum of human endeavor? Less than eight months. Remember the thinking of those heady times? • For investors, here were infinite horizons of obscene profits that turned traditional business models on their ear. "Those who

The Battle of Brand vs. Direct (1,220 words)
April 1, 2000

by Bob Hacker Brand is now presented as the holy grail of marketing—"brand it and they will come"—with general advertising agencies the self-proclaimed Delphic oracles of brand stewardship. That one-size-fits-all marketing prescription is too simplistic and very misleading, particularly for direct marketers. The first part of this article addresses the issue of brand and how it relates to a company's success. In this case, we'll define success as the ability to increase revenue and profit, since no CEO would spend a dime on advertising, promotion, direct marketing, public relations—or the people who manage these functions—without some expectation of positive return on investment (ROI). In

Extending Upselling and Cross-Selling Efforts (2,414 words)
November 1, 1999

By Kelly J. Andrews A very good retail salesperson upsells this handbag to match that dress, the lamp to complement the sofa. To contrast, telephone reps, lacking face-to-face contact, used to function as mere order-takers, not salespeople. Direct marketers relied on persuasive copy to sell, not their inbound reps. This outdated reality has changed. The reasons are several: First, the increased costs of mailing have put pressure on call centers to increase order sizes and become profit centers. Second, upselling and cross-selling efforts not only increase average order size, but also help retain customers by turning single-buyers into multi-buyers and upping their involvement with

Web Site 'Don'ts'
September 1, 1999

by Robert McKim 5 Mistakes that could destroy your site—including scrimping on budget ncreasingly consumers would rather sit at their computers searching for information than spend another hour sitting through another execrable sitcom or over-hyped sporting event. This trend should cause some waves of fear at companies like Gillette, Procter & Gamble and other mass marketers who still spend upwards of 80 percent of their communications budgets on TV. The market for their products is splitting up into millions of individuals who do their own research and find what they want on the Internet. It is interesting to note that according to a recent Harris-Poll survey,

Banner Ads Rich Media, Richer Response (1,251 words)
June 1, 1999

By Kelly J. Andrews While Internet usage and e-commerce have skyrocketed, banner ad click-through rates have dropped precipitously amid the clamor. While 83 million U.S. adults now have Internet access, according to IntelliQuest, an Austin, TX, market research firm, most industry analysts say the response rate to banner ads is less than 1 percent. There may be more consumers online, but direct marketers aren't interested in creating or collecting impressions—they're trying to make sales. So how can they break through the deafening noise on the Internet to make messages standout? Some think rich media is the answer. The use of rich media

The Data Issue Heats Up the Internet (984 words)
April 1, 1999

Privacy issues are contagious. The stir created by a perceived outrage in one medium can often spread to others like a virus, and lately the direct marketing industry is operating in a hot zone. When it comes to the collection and use of personal data, nowhere is hotter than the Internet. As the online industry develops, the unique privacy standards that sprung up when the Web was still noncommercial have been challenged by both consumers and direct marketers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) continues to debate the restrictive Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, but the push to regulate the Internet involves much