Chip Fichtner

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.

In this brave new world of "data-driven marketing," the mantra is: Don't sell. Engage. Create relationships. What is not discussed: how emailers bugger up relationships by wasting readers' precious time. In my home office, I do not have TV or listen to the radio. So I signed up with several online news providers for breaking news alerts.

In New Jersey the other week, a full tank of gas cost me $53.00. This was $13.00 more than my weekly salary as an NBC page in 1956. My second job at Prentice-Hall in 1960 was writing press releases for $60.00 a week. My third job, publicity director at Franklin Watts Publishing Co., paid $90.00 a week. Frank Watts used to say, "I want all my employees to feel overworked and underpaid." We did.

My American Express Gold Card says: "Member since '64." This is my 50th anniversary as an AmEx cardmember. I remember in 2004 being (1) hurt and (2) offended that I never received a thank-you card from CEO Kenneth I. Chenault for being a member for 40 years. I doubt if I will receive a 50th anniversary card. Chenault is a rude dude. In the average corporate database, how many customers have been active for 50 years? Not many, I'll bet.

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