St. Louis

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 subject of personal finance can be filled with uncertainty. Reaching the level of financial wellness that allows for true independence can be difficult when struggling to break even. Some perspective: according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve, the personal savings rate in the U.S. has drastically declined.

Healthcare marketers may have a challenge. Zika — the same virus that can cause tragic birth defects — may help shrink brain tumors in adults. Now healthcare brands interested in this possible treatment may have to overcome fears that had Americans resisting travel to affected regions during the height of its fame.

St. Louis-based Ascension joins many other health systems that are moving more of their marketing budgets to digital and away from traditional media because that's where consumers are going first to research their conditions and providers, marketing executives say.

A common refrain from marketers is that they can't find qualified hires for the new data-driven jobs. To that end, the Direct Marketing Association's Marketing EDGE arm works to ensure college students learn about direct marketing and join the field. Now, if an initiative from President Barack Obama becomes a reality, Americans with less of an edge can get trained in the "TechHire Initiative."

In 1984, Peggy and I launched WHO'S MAILING WHAT!—the newsletter and archive service for junk mailers. We started exhibiting at local direct marketing shows in various cities. We trolled for subscribers and I also got a lot of speaking gigs around the country and overseas. Everywhere I went—even London—I would run into a tall, taciturn, archetypical Texan in cowboy boots and Stetson hat. Often, he would be dragging a roller suitcase with an overcoat stacked on top.

Moosylvania Marketing, the digital, branding, promotion and experiential agency, released 'Social Commerce,' a special report on the growing influence of limited-time, special-value offers. Delivered daily through social media communities like Groupon, these high-value consumer offers promote the sale of excess inventory. Coupled with recessionary trends, social commerce sites are changing the way retailers and service providers utilize marketing to drive traffic. 'Since Groupon began in Chicago a few years ago, hundreds of local imitators now have their own form of half price deals” 'Since Groupon began in Chicago a few years ago, hundreds of local imitators

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