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

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

No one will ever forget how well Bill Murray portrayed the frustration of repeating the same routine day after day. “Groundhog Day” may have debuted in theaters in 1993, but many marketers feel the same frustration today in their own professions.

On Dec. 8, 1928, The New Yorker ran one of its most famous cartoons drawn by Carl Rose with text by E. B. White. It depicted a small child eating dinner. The caption: Young mother: “It’s broccoli, dear.” Young daughter: “I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.” Recently, I’ve been buying bagged spinach and either microwaving it in the bag or sauteing it with a ton of garlic. Great stuff, until nearly 200 people in 26 states became seriously ill with E. coli from tainted bagged spinach supplied by Natural Selection Foods in California’s Salinas Valley. At least one person died and 29 others

Movie critics operate above their pay grade May 23, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 40 IN THE NEWS Has The Da Vinci Code had any good reviews? Stodgy, grim, ponderous. Dreary, droning, dull-witted. Hammy, stilted, solemn, talky, wooden, bloated, plodding, deathly dull, dreary. Or did I do "dreary" already? Forget the Christian right—it's that shadowy global organisation, the Critical Establishment, that has lifted its cassock and dumped unceremoniously on Ron Howard's adaptation of The Da Vinci Code. — Jonathan Gibbs, The Guardian (UK), May 19, 2006 At a direct marketing conference in Orlando I was having lunch with my Norwegian clients and

The sales letter is the most logical place for story-telling in a direct mail package. After all, that's where people expect to be reading long copy. But there's also a way to incorporate the same drama into your brochure, without weighing down this element with lots of text. The marketing challenge for the Thomas Register, a directory of North American manufacturing companies that is available in print, CD-ROM and DVD-ROM format, is to make tangible the benefits of an information tool. Pictures of book covers and CDs are not all that exciting. What does make the Thomas Register's prospects' hearts race

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