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Your Marketing Superheroes
December 1, 2015 at 8:00 am

Offer, list, message … these are the traditional heroes of direct marketing. But sometimes you need more than just great creative.

6 Types of Humor to Lighten Up Your Marketing and Start Conversations
May 23, 2014

Humor is human! Despite that, there haven't been many great examples of humor in B-to-B. I believe that is changing. Moreover, according to a global Nielsen survey called "Trust in Advertising," conducted in September 2013 in 58 countries, 47 percent of respondents said humor resonates more than any other content approach. Laughter lowers the intellectual shield your busy prospects have up all day just to survive the messaging onslaught. Humor opens up a space for connecting because it disrupts the expected pattern. Here are six types of humor that grab attention and generate conversation.

Why the Post Office Needs to Compete With Banks
February 7, 2014

Back in 2011, I said, “The only way to save the Post Office will be to allow it to move into financial services,” seeing as how, “banks in the U.S. are mistrusted and disliked and many people would love to be able to just bank at the Post Office, instead.” That’s still true, and has been given a lot more salience since the Post’s Office inspector general released a 33-page white paper last week, saying that the Post Office should move into what it calls, in its headline, “Non-Bank Financial Services for the Underserved.

Encrypt, Encrypt, Encrypt ... or Else ...
March 20, 2012

Imagine Henry Kissinger or Warren Buffett trying to pay his hotel bill at the Ritz in Moscow and being told by a desk clerk that his credit card was no good.

What's more, imagine how you would feel if it were your fault. That is the embarrassment facing newsletter publisher George Friedman.

Stratfor Global Intelligence is a highly respected daily newsletter devoted to world news, covert actions, military affairs, terrorism and intrigue. If you are an international news junkie, this is a must read.

Subscribers include high-powered and high profile folks in Fortune 500 companies, international finance, academia, governments, the military and the media.

The entire subscriber file was hacked, and the criminals started looting money from the accounts. The FBI alerted the issuers of nearly 100,000 credit cards of the account numbers that had been stolen, and presumably they were summarily canceled.

From CEO George Friedman's letter to his subscribers:

We knew our reputation would be damaged by the revelation, all the more so because we had not encrypted the credit card files. This was a failure on our part. As the founder and CEO of Stratfor, I take responsibility for this failure, which has created hardship for customers and friends, and I deeply regret that it took place. The failure originated in the rapid growth of the company. As it grew, the management team and administrative processes didn't grow with it. Again, I regret that this occurred and want to assure everyone that Stratfor is taking aggressive steps to deal with the problem and ensure that it doesn't happen again.

Read Friedman's entire letter and you'll discover a confession of incompetence by an academic Ph.D. that has no business running a business.

Overnight, Strafor Global Intelligence became an oxymoron.

Newt Gingrich’s $929 Million in Tweets
April 5, 2011

“Money is the mother’s milk of politics,” said California State Assembly Speaker, Jesse “Big Daddy” Unruh (1922-1987).

For a politician, the Internet is a huge bargain.

For example, Newt Gingrich, who is flirting with a run for the presidency, has more than 1.3 million followers on Twitter.

Twitter is free. Talking to these million-plus followers—keeping them fired up on a very personal basis—costs Gingrich nothing beyond a bit of his time.

Twenty years ago, he would have been forced to mail postcards. In today’s dollars—at 30¢ a pop—each postcard mailing would cost Gingrich $394,000.

The record shows that Gingrich has sent out 2,363 tweets as of this morning.

If the former speaker had sent all his tweets to his full list, that’s 3 billion tweets. In postcard arithmetic, that totals $929 million worth of messages.

Conventional wisdom—especially amongst politicians and the very young—is that the Internet is a Godsend, because everything is free—news, magazines, books, music, movies, tweets, Facebook, correspondence.

“‘Conventional wisdom’ is an oxymoron,” wrote Charles Hughes and William Jeanes.

In actuality, the Internet—the “new medium” where everything is free—can be a catastrophe. Not only is it an enabler of excruciatingly sloppy, self-indulgent writing that bores people to stupefaction, but it can invade our privacy, get us fired, destroy our reputations and careers, and, in some cases, cause us to commit suicide.

Can Good Ads Save a Bad Product?
November 15, 2005

Probably not, but it's fun to try! Nov. 15, 2005: Vol. 1, Issue No. 48 IN THE NEWS Combating Critics' Pans With a Blitzkrieg of Ads If you have watched any television in New York or listened to local radio in the last two weeks, you have probably heard about "In My Life," the new Broadway musical currently at the Music Box Theater. Its commercials, after all, have been everywhere, complete with heartfelt audience testimonials, snippets of cheering crowds and mentions of rave reviews. All of which might give you the impression that "In My Life" is a hit. You would be wrong.

30 Ways to Improve Response
November 1, 2000

By Alan Rosenspan Ask any direct marketing expert—the single best way to increase response is by using the right list. If you can find prospects who are truly in need of your product or service, your mailing has a much better chance to succeed. However, it is not enough just to find them—you have to reach them with an effective direct mail package. Based on creating and evaluating thousands of successful direct mail programs around the world, I have found that there are certain techniques that can significantly boost response. They are no substitute for a big idea. They are