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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.

Stephen H. Yu is a world-class database marketer. He has a proven track record in comprehensive strategic planning and tactical execution, effectively bridging the gap between the marketing and technology world with a balanced view obtained from more than 30 years of experience in best practices of database marketing. Currently, Yu is president and chief consultant at Willow Data Strategy. Previously, he was the head of analytics and insights at eClerx, and VP, Data Strategy & Analytics at Infogroup. Prior to that, Yu was the founding CTO of I-Behavior Inc., which pioneered the use of SKU-level behavioral data. “As a long-time data player with plenty of battle experiences, I would like to share my thoughts and knowledge that I obtained from being a bridge person between the marketing world and the technology world. In the end, data and analytics are just tools for decision-makers; let’s think about what we should be (or shouldn’t be) doing with them first. And the tools must be wielded properly to meet the goals, so let me share some useful tricks in database design, data refinement process and analytics.” Reach him at stephen.yu@willowdatastrategy.com.

“Personalization” is the next big thing after “Big Data.” ... And that is really too bad for the users of data, technology and analytics. Why? Because many users end up thinking that they are doing a good job at it, while in reality, they are only touching the surface.

A milestone for Twitter, according to the Paris-based analyst group Semiocast: The social network has now passed the half-billion account mark—specifically 517 million accounts as of July 1, 2012, with 141.8 million of those users in the U.S., still about half as many users as Facebook has but positioning it as the second-biggest social networking site. And just as most of Twitter’s users are coming from outside the U.S., so are the tweets: the top three cities in terms of tweets, it says, are Jakarta, Tokyo and London.

A survey by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) of its members reveals that almost 60 percent of global marketers are shifting budget to focus on new markets for growth. Nearly 95 percent think future growth will come from outside the U.S. Based on 65 responses from marketers representing nearly $40 billion in global ad spend, the survey found that marketing best practice is increasingly found outside the U.S. More than 71 percent of global marketers think that some of the best work is now developed in other markets.

The two Davids—Axlerod and Plouffe—are marketing geniuses. They propelled Barack Obama to the presidency by running textbook campaigns in the primaries and general election.

In the course of their work, they raised three-quarters of a billion dollars, upended the entire business of political fundraising and scotched forever the Holy American Empire’s concept of taxpayer-funded elections.

How’d they do it?

I have in my archive 187 e-mails from the Obama campaign to me (from 3/5/08 – 12/9/08) and 207 messages from the Hillary Clinton press office to me (from 3/11/08 – 5/9/08).

This is grist for a book or white paper on what Obama did right and Clinton did wrong—especially since the presumptive secretary of state is in the hole for $30 million and is whining and begging, while the president-elect is sitting on a $30 million surplus.

As readers of this e-zine know, history fascinates me. And for three and a half years, I had the enormous privilege of working for Walter Weintz, the father of direct mail political fundraising.

What follows is the story of how it all began. The pioneering work in political fundraising by Walter Weintz in the 1950s is directly applicable to the world of fundraising today—more than a half-century later—whether you use snail mail, e-mail, off-the-page advertising or the telephone.

By Arthur Middleton Hughes While your back was turned, technology caught up with you. Everything today works. Tires don't go flat. Cars start on cold mornings. Television sets don't need repairs. Computers work the same whether they are from IBM, Dell or Gateway. Most of our products seem to be made in China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea or Malaysia. They work great. What all of this means is that your competitors' products work just as well as yours do. If you add a new valuable feature, within six months all of your competitors will add that same feature. We can no longer say that

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