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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.

This was a banner week for marketers and their ad agencies crying HELP! The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal ran long stories about the inability of Web advertisers to determine whether their ads were effective or not. I have spent 45 years in the world of direct marketing, a discipline that is able to measure results down to a gnat’s eyebrow—whether it be mail, space. TV, radio, telephone or the Web. Our feedback comes directly from those to whom we advertise. Yet the world of general agencies has somehow conned the dumb little yuppie MBA corporate brand managers into believing that it’s okay

Note: Denny Hatch personally replies to all correspondence. Readers Respond & Debate “How to Deal with the Media,” published June 22, 2006. “Beware of the taped TV interview. A suck-up reporter will show up with a camera crew and will ask a lot of questions that make you feel very important. The result will be a one-sentence sound bite taken out of context designed to buttress the producer’s biased agenda or be the one dissenting opinion amidst a blizzard of verbiage from the other side. Either way, you’ll look like a jerk. When asked to do a TV interview, I always reply, ‘I don’t do sound

Charles Dickens the Victorian era author, should be considered the Great-grandfather of Direct. What Dickens did for the business of direct marketing is history. For example, Dickens gave us: * “Buy One, Get one Free” * Continuity and club programs * White mail * Seasonality studies * Chat rooms * Testimonials * Contrast pricing * Installment payments * Market research * Customer relationship And these are just the beginning. To this list you also can add that he was the great-grandfather of soap operas and paperback books. When Dickens came up with all these innovations he was only 23 years old and had just

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