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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.

The Internet is one of the few bright spots in the economy, and one of my heroes has just said we should kneecap it. I respectfully disagree. One of the greatest writers in direct marketing is Denny Hatch. If you haven’t read him yet, you should. He’s smart, provocative and knows marketing like few others. But today, Hatch essentially yelled at the Internet. In a piece headlined “It’s High Time Web Sales Were Taxed,” Hatch begins by decrying the practice of “showrooming,” where shoppers visit bricks-and-mortar stores to check out products but then buy them at home online

Understanding what the top sellers are doing to increase sales and profitability is critical to remaining competitive in today's crowded marketplaces. This webinar will bring together industry experts from Barnes & Noble Marketplace, Monsoon Commerce and successful online merchants to share some best practices for marketplace selling.

While it's a common refrain from most companies to say that data is at the heart of their marketing decisions, very few back up their words with action like Vocus. The provider of on-demand software for public relations management showed this in its latest quarterly direct mail offering, dropped in mid-July.

As readers of this e-zine know, I started out in the book business—first in publicity departments and later as a traveling salesman calling on bookstores, wholesalers and libraries in the East and Midwest. As a salesman, I used to get commissions. As an author of books, I receive royalties. The killer on any commission or royalty statement is the line, “Returns”—unsold books returned to the publisher for credit on which commissions and royalties are deducted. Returns have been the bane of book publishing for more than 70 years. The announcement that HarperCollins will launch a new division that will not accept returns from booksellers

I have always been a cheerleader for the underdogs. They just plain try harder. This is why I favor companies like Caribou Coffee over Starbucks, Frontier Airlines over United Airlines, Ben & Jerry’s over Breyers and Chipotle over McDonald’s. Not only do these “underdogs” try harder, but they also seem more comfortable in their own brand skins. They are original. They are daring. They are independent thinkers. They are the real deal. Is your brand the real deal? I bet your customers know the answer. Stand Out from the Crowd As you look at the vast choices of products and services customers have today,

No industry in the world is so completely peopled with whiners: * Book publishers whine because they are forced to eat 35% of the products they send out in the form of hugely expensive returns. * Authors whine because publishers don’t promote their books. * Book publishers and authors whine because newspapers do not review their books. *Newspapers whine because book publishers are putting their advertising dollars elsewhere, so, in retaliation, they drastically cut the number of reviews they carry. *Book critics whine because with fewer and fewer venues for their work, they are deprived of places to show off how much smarter

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