Las Vegas

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.

Thorin McGee is editor-in-chief and content director of Target Marketing and oversees editorial direction and product development for the magazine, website and other channels.

It’s encouraging to see a resurgence in the quantity and quality of B2B marketing conferences and trade shows these days. For a while there, I was worried, as event after event went dark. Part of the upturn is due to the growth of the proprietary client conference.

With DMA’s &Then18 in Las Vegas taking place this past week, I may report that the transformation from “direct marketing” to “data-driven marketing” is complete, and that the disruption of marketing overall, in all its forms, continues to accelerate. Third-party data, for growth, is a marketing trend we'll discuss here, too.

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.

In an era not so long ago, creative directors lived in a world where the big idea was the champion — and that champion came from highly compensated (more or less) idea makers, both themselves and their creative teams, and the big idea was put to the advertising test. If big idea marketing were provocative enough, then it might win creative awards at a global creative festival. Other creatives would fawn, congratulate each other, and champagne would flow. Not a bad outcome, if you’re a creative director.

Sometimes, it’s better to get the news from the horse’s mouth. DMA CEO Tom Benton spoke with Target Marketing yesterday morning, before word got out about ANA acquiring the Data and Marketing Association. The Association of National Advertisers formally announced acquiring DMA yesterday.

Las Vegas marketers were taking a different approach to their brand reputations on Tuesday. Promotional language was hard to find, and appeared to be replaced by messages about the tragedy of Oct. 1 that left 59 gunshot victims dead and more than 500 injured.

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