Northern California

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.

Facebook ad numbers are inflated and the platform’s audiences in U.S. cities and states a Kansas-based marketer wanted to target were far smaller than the “potential reach” Facebook said it had, alleges a lawsuit the marketer filed in California. reported yesterday that the suit further states “the 18-34 age demographic in all 50 states exceeded the actual population of 18-34 year olds who use Facebook.”

The U.S. Postal Service has rules about sending food through the mail. "Mailable perishable matter can be sent at the mailer's own risk," the USPS site states. But bread, eggs, milk and more have been the mail for AmazonFresh grocery buyers in Northern California since August, according to the Wall Street Journal. "So much for drone delivery," gibes BloombergBusinessweek's Devin Leonard on Sept. 11.

Google is a search engine, right? Google Shopping Express makes it look as though the search giant is becoming more of an offline entity, too. In a move uniting search, e-commerce and package delivery, Google is shipping books, groceries, clothing and more that consumers purchase from retailers through the search engine. Then Google delivers the purchases to customers the same day in Manhattan, Peninsula, San Francisco, San Jose and West Los Angeles. Shoppers in Northern California receive overnight delivery.

Back in 2012,, the e-commerce site for casual-apparel chain Sway, was struggling to get the customers in its database to buy more. No matter what it tried, its email marketing efforts fell flat, averaging a dismal 11 percent open rate and 0.9 percent clickthrough rate — numbers well behind the retail industry averages of 31 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively, according to email marketing provider MailChimp. "It was really trial and error," says Cheyanne Sequoyia-Mackay, SwayChic's project and marketing manager. "We were looking for a smarter way to send emails without having to put so much research into it."

Andy Barton, Scion digital and interactive marketing manager, agrees the Torrance, Calif.-based Toyota brand had astronomical search engine marketing issues back in June 2012. That's when Scion leaders, national and regional, met to figure out how to drive increased traffic and leads to dealers and found "key gaps" in the brand's search results—specifically for local terms.

Sorry, dear readers, but the crop circle discovered last week etched in a farmer's barley field in Chualar, California, was not created by aliens. Instead—surprise!—it was a stunt intended to attract publicity to the release of a mobile processor used in automobiles, tablets and cell phones made by the computer graphics company NVIDIA, according to its president and CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang. "It is true. The NVIDIA marketing team is behind this phenomenon

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