United States of America

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.

How many National Do Not Call List violations does it take to get yourself a class-action lawsuit? The magic number would appear to be 57,606,609—or at least it is in the case of "United States of America, and the States of California, Illinois, North Carolina, and Ohio v. Dish Network, L.L.C.," currently working its way towards a verdict.

The title of this column does not mean I’m going to be singing scat or bebop. Rest assured, you need not fear that I will break out in an Ella Fitzgerald impression. Instead, what is going to happen is a commentary on a type of confidence game that eventually shows up in everyone’s mailbox or online in-box. It’s nothing more than an “ego scam,” as one of my clients called it, but it can be very effective and very profitable. (It’s just not going to be profitable for you.)

As much of the world strives to pull itself out of this damnable recession—the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development did report recently at least the beginning of a global economic recovery—marketers have been forced to grapple with how much stock to put in the predictive abilities of their customer databases. Has the poor health of the U.S. economy altered the consumer—and business, for that matter—landscape so greatly that all the customer data you collected up until a year ago couldn't forecast its way out of a wet paper bag?

Datacard Optimization: Gone are the days of manually updating datacard counts, if Hanover, N.H.-based NextMark has its way. The direct marketing list firm has introduced NextMark Select.

Pegg Nadler loves the unknown. Where others see challenges, she sees opportunities. Where others fear change, she fears boredom. These are some of the qualities that have driven her 30-year direct marketing career, the bulk of which she's spent advancing database marketing operations at commercial and nonprofit organizations and giving back to the direct marketing community. And they're why she's Target Marketing magazine's Direct Marketer of the Year.

As a columnist for this publication and creator of the e-zine BusinessCommon
Sense.com, I constantly receive e-pitches from PR types to do stories about some CEO or company, or e-sales pitches to buy something.

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