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Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

I'm judging marketing awards during the dog days of August, with steaming heat in New York City. It’s been a challenge this week choosing which campaigns will win recognition on Oct. 7 in Las Vegas. Earning my vote takes some doing. Here's how marketers did it.

Myths keeping SMB marketers from creating an online presence can harm their business. In today’s information age, consumers expect a great deal of availability in exchange for their business. It may have once been just fine to exist offline only, but that time has long passed. Now, at the very least, your business needs an operational website with basic information.

If data is the fuel that is powering today’s marketing engine, Google has discovered a real gusher. Google, or any other AI-aided advertising sales effort, can add these datasets to already copious databases and use them as the almost ultimate tool to segment advertising messages to people most likely to be interested in them and to avoid sending ads in specific categories to those people who have signaled they are "not interested."

Forget to make that annual doctor appointment again? Don't worry. Patrick Dempsey can call to remind you. Dempsey, as well as other actors who played doctors, have returned to Cigna's TV “Doctors of America” campaign to remind Americans to get their annual check‑up.

How did 2017 work out for you? Well, let’s look forward to 2018 — and imagine what could be. The optimist in me is gung-ho on what’s transpiring in the world economy — and nearer at home.

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