Indiana Jones

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.

Stephen H. Yu is a world-class database marketer. He has a proven track record in comprehensive strategic planning and tactical execution, effectively bridging the gap between the marketing and technology world with a balanced view obtained from more than 30 years of experience in best practices of database marketing. Currently, Yu is president and chief consultant at Willow Data Strategy. Previously, he was the head of analytics and insights at eClerx, and VP, Data Strategy & Analytics at Infogroup. Prior to that, Yu was the founding CTO of I-Behavior Inc., which pioneered the use of SKU-level behavioral data. “As a long-time data player with plenty of battle experiences, I would like to share my thoughts and knowledge that I obtained from being a bridge person between the marketing world and the technology world. In the end, data and analytics are just tools for decision-makers; let’s think about what we should be (or shouldn’t be) doing with them first. And the tools must be wielded properly to meet the goals, so let me share some useful tricks in database design, data refinement process and analytics.” Reach him at stephen.yu@willowdatastrategy.com.

Your customers are tired of hearing sales pitches and want to get genuine insights that offer practical advice for vital issues. That’s the path to becoming a thought leader — through relevant content. So content is king, but marketing technology is his chariot.

As a concerned data professional, I am already plotting an exit strategy from this Big Data hype. Because like any bubble, it will surely burst. That inevitable doomsday could be a couple of years away, but I can feel it coming. At the risk of sounding too much like Yoda the Jedi Grand Master, all hypes lead to over-investments, all over-investments lead to disappointments, and all disappointments lead to blames. Yes, in a few years, lots of blames will go around, and lots of heads will roll.

One night in the early 1980s, my wife, Peggy, and I were sitting in the second row of the Mark Hellinger Theater watching the musical romp “Sugar Babies,” starring Mickey Rooney and Ann Miller. Mickey Rooney (amazingly, this was his Broadway debut) was standing outside a hotel room door listening to what was going on inside between two newlyweds. It was the setup for a very old joke that I had known since boyhood. “When you get to the umbrella, it’s mine!” Rooney shouted through the door. I let out a guffaw that rocked the theater and the audience followed suit. Rooney marched down

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