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

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

The release of a blockbuster album has historically come with a few standard marketing moves. Flood the radio with an early single. Book as many TV appearances as possible. Line up partnerships with big retailers and consumer brands. But at midnight on Thursday, when Beyoncé released her latest album, she did none of those things. Instead, she merely wrote, “Surprise!” to her more than eight million Instagram followers, and the full album—all 14 songs and 17 videos of it—appeared for sale on iTunes

Geico's Gecko spokes-lizard has become so iconic that he shows up as a human-size mascot at sporting events. He's even milking his fame with a new book. But the insurance firm did not originally intend for the popular character to become its longstanding brand representative. Data analysis determined that, according to Geico CMO Ted Ward. For 10 years, Geico has worked with Merkle, a database-marketing consultancy, to run the insurer's marketing database, handle its direct mail and print-campaign analytics and manage its targeted digital display ads. Geico also works with The Martin Agency and Horizon Media on advertising.

A Merkle executive at the 2013 Mobile Marketing Association Forum San Francisco said mobile marketers can marry real-time and personal analytics to make the most of Big Data. During the “How to Leverage Big Data in the Mobile World” session, the executive spoke about the best ways for marketers to dig into their analytics to drive results. Additionally, the executive discussed which types of information are most important to include in mobile reporting. “If you want to be successful with Big Data and mobile, there are two things that you need to do,” said Jennifer Veesenmeyer, vice president of digital

Predictive analytics can help marketers upsell and cross-sell products to customers. But the key word in that sentence is “customers.” Different divisions handling different channels or various departments in charge of various products can cause problems for customers if companies decide to organize data based on those guidelines alone when creating predictive models.

COLUMBIA, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Merkle, the nation's largest and fastest growing independent customer relationship marketing agency, today announced the hiring of David Magrini as vice president of the insurance and wealth management practice, a position focused on leading and building the consulting practice for Merkle's insurance and wealth management clients. Magrini brings his expertise and deep analytic roots from his experience working for prominent insurance and health organizations on both the client and agency side. Magrini will help Merkle provide its growing and diverse roster of clients with end to end capabilities and translate analytic data into valuable marketing strategy.

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