Denny Hatch I

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

By Denny Hatch I hate to count the number of times I have nearly veered off the road trying to figure out what a wordy billboard is all about. Billboards today are serious and confusing. Does anyone remember the old red-and-white Burma-Shave signs by the side of the road—one after the other—that touted the brushless shaving cream? There were several hundred versions of these—every one of them a hoot. Each sign had a little bit of copy; just enough so that you didn't take your eyes off the road for too long. This was followed by another and another, until you had the whole

By Denny Hatch I used to like the idea that marketers had a ton of information about our spending habits and lifestyle. When Peggy and I moved to Philly, we got a mortgage approval in three days, and countless times I've stuck a piece of plastic into a machine somewhere in the world and gotten spendable coin of realm. I'm delighted that direct marketers (spammers excluded) only send offers that interest me. However, since 9/11, the federal government has decided that all people in this country need watching. Mercifully, Congress shot down John Poindexter's "Total Information Awareness" project which the Pentagon described as "a

Web surfers age 50 or older are the fastest-growing demographic for online music sales, according to a recent Media Metrix study. Online marketers should take notice of this growing number of Web-savvy seniors. Trendiness won't work for a group that has been setting trends for decades. Candace Corlett, senior partner at 50+ Marketing Directions, advises to shift your marketing messages from 'cool' to 'smart.' "Whirling, dancing, animated stuff is great for the younger set, but generally silly to the senior surfer," she says. Media streams and flashy graphics aren't going to reach this set. "Emphasize service over price. The 50-plus crowd has

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