Harvard Business Review

Top 10 Magazines with Offers in Who's Mailing What!
August 13, 2015

Magazines with Offers in Who's Mailing What! Direct Mail Bloomberg Businessweek Sports Illustrated Consumer Reports Smithsonian Magazine The Economist Forbes Magazine The Nation Prevention Magazine O, The Oprah Magazine Saturday Evening Post Email Charisma / New Man Advertising Age Print Magazine TownHall Writer's Digest Cook's Country Southern Living Sunset The Artist's Magazine Harvard Business Review…

What Consumers Buy Over and Over Again
March 19, 2015

American consumers have an average annual income of $63,784 before taxes and spend $51,100 of it. Five categories of goods and services eat up about 82 percent of that purchasing power, according to a February 2015 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Bear in mind that BLS is basing those numbers on "consumer units," which are just as easily individuals as they are families.)

Death of the Salesman
November 21, 2014

There's no question that the Willy Lomans of this world have been dying a slow, agonizing death—only instead of losing the fight to travel exhaustion, the opponent is the Internet ... And marketing

Amaze and Respect: Essential Verbs to Enhance Your Brand Strategy in 2015, Part 1
November 11, 2014

No doubt your strategic plan has powerful verbs in it already: verbs like activate (previous customers), entice (new customers), cross-promote (merchandise across channels), engage (customers with content) and increase (profitability). I expect those verbs are baked into most plans. But brands that make a difference in the lives of their customers often add a few unexpected verbs into their strategic planning and their actions.

1-Trick Ponies and Customer Loyalty Behavior
September 9, 2014

About 30 years ago, Paul Simon wrote a song entitled "One-Trick Pony." The song describes a performing pony that has learned only one trick, and he succeeds or fails with the audience based on how well he executes it. As Simon conveys in the lyrics: "He's got one trick to last a lifetime. It's the principal source of his revenue."

Why Steve Jobs Didn't Listen to His Customers
June 24, 2014

"It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them," said Steve Jobs. One of the most famous opinions from a highly opinionated man. Regardless of your personal view on this statement, it is remembered because of the implications that Jobs makes about customer feedback. Forbes called the quote ”a dangerous lesson.“ Even as someone who has presented ample research that customers can and do inspire innovation across multiple industries, I’m here to tell you that you should mostly agree

5 Ancient Storytelling Methods Copywriters Can Use Today
March 19, 2014

What does Ancient Greek and Shakespearean storytelling have to do with direct marketing today? Perhaps more than you realize. Today we dissect a proven five-step process that has been used for centuries to hold the reader to the end of a story. Direct marketers can use this timeless framework to write compelling copy for

Magazine/Newspaper Controls in 2013*
October 31, 2013

Magazine/Newspaper Controls in 2013* Bloomberg Businessweek Sports Illustrated Wall Street Journal Forbes Magazine Money Magazine Harvard Health Letter Nutritional Action Healthletter Consumer Reports Harvard Business Review The Nation *Based on repeated mail pieces (controls) that were most frequently mailed, as recorded in Who's Mailing What!

Our Channels and the Morgue
June 19, 2013

I saw a headline the other day in the Harvard Business Review that just made me laugh out loud. But before I tell you what it is, let's just think back a few years or maybe a bit further in history. How many of you direct marketers out there remember responding to the concern that "direct mail is dead"? How many of you remember reading those headlines in giant font that said, "Is Email Killing Direct Mail?" ... And look at us now—direct mail is still one of the most preferred methods of fundraising communication

Big Marketing on a Small Budget?
May 28, 2013

Four or five times a year, we get calls from entrepreneurs, inventors mainly, looking for marketing help. As far as I can tell, that’s about average for a small marketing agency. Recently, we heard from a vibrating shoe man, a couple with a terrific new home-schooling program, and a woman with a new luxury magazine but no circulation! Naturally, they all had small (very small) marketing budgets. Oddly enough, that’s only No. 2 on the list of challenges they brought with them. No. 1 was their pre-conceived notions of what they wanted us to do