Holy Grail

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.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

No matter what vertical their company is in, marketers need to communicate with the hyper-connected customers known as "Generation C," agree the panelists of Target Marketing's recent luncheon roundtable where speakers from IBM, SAP, Chubb Insurance, CitiMortgage and the nonprofit Human rights Campaign took on the subject of "The Secret to Managing Multichannel Marketing: How you need to focus your efforts for 2014." About 77 percent of customer communication now comes through Generation C, says Sandy Carter, IBM general manager and 2013 Direct Marketer of the Year

"For many inbound marketers, search and search engine optimization is Holy Grail of marketing. Google is their most significant traffic referrer, so they focus on showing up in search results pages at the exclusion of almost everything else. Search is as important a marketing channel as ever, but data we recently collected at HubSpot show that it's not quite the Holy Grail. In fact, if you care about converting your traffic into leads and sales, social media and blogs may be even more important than search."

— Sept. 15, "Search Is Your Best Source of Traffic? Don't Be So Sure," posted by Michelle Jones, Hubspot's Inbound Internet Marketing Blog

A title, description and display URL packed into about 70 characters—that's the extent of a paid search listing. Differentiation within these tight boundaries is tricky, to say the least. That's why the best place to start when developing paid search ads is inside searchers' heads.

Increasing numbers of investors, regulators and customers want the so-called triple bottom line (environmental, social and financial) that factors in corporate responsibility, natural resource conservation and climate change. “Call it the New Green,” says Don Carli, senior research fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Communication (ISC), a nonprofit group that promotes environmentally responsible practices for the printing, publishing and packaging industries. Here’s a small part of my recent eye-opening chat with Carli, a former strategic planner within these industries. EB: What got you interested in the topic of sustainable printing? DC: It grew out of a consulting engagement I had about 10 years ago with the CEO

On the Mount Olympus of direct marketing, two figures stand at the summit looking down at everyone else that followed: * Regnault de Mouçon, Bishop of Chartres, France. * Martin Conroy of Madison, Connecticut and Captiva, Florida. On the night of June 10, 1197, fire raged through Chartres, destroying many of the buildings and severely damaging the cathedral. At first, it was believed that the city’s precious relic—the Sancta Camisia, the robe that Mary wore when giving birth to Jesus—was lost in the flames. Bishop Regnault de Mouçon wanted to rebuild, but without their relic, the citizens of Chartres gave in to despair. Two

The idea that advertising agencies are recommending campaigns based on humor—and marketers are going along with it—is an act of desperation. At the end of this issue is an illustration from an upcoming Campbell’s Soup commercial that urges consumers to “Make some holiday magic.” It depicts the branch of an evergreen tree reaching through an open window and grabbing some green bean casserole. The viewer will think, “My isn’t that cute and clever,” and remember the gag, but not the Campbell Soup. Be well-mannered, but don’t be a clown. People don’t buy from bad-mannered salesmen, and research has shown that they don’t buy from

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