Tony Hsieh

Lois Brayfield is CEO at J.Schmid and Associates, a direct-marketing agency specializing in catalog design. She knows what works and has the experience to prove it— 30 years of studying direct marketing and catalog results. She applies this wealth of data to every project and has helped develop an integrated process that ensures campaign effectiveness. She knows the rules, and she knows when to ignore them.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

I led a panel discussion at a recent marketing event debating the value of "old" direct marketing techniques in the "new" modern marketing arena. Certainly, data-driven marketing is "the new black" in customer engagement—and so if you consider that direct marketing is the forerunner of all response marketing, then certainly it seems that the old is gold. Many successful multichannel marketers are finding out that our roots in good old direct and database marketing are powerful assets in our new "big data" world

Two years ago, I made a commitment to do something that made me profoundly uncomfortable. I had just finished writing my first book, and I promised my publisher that I would reach out to bestselling authors and senior leaders, asking them to read my book and consider endorsing it. ... As someone who generally prefers to be on the giving side of exchanges, rather than the asking and receiving end, ... I began seeking advice, scouring the research evidence, and test-driving what I learned in my quest to capture the attention of busy people

Customers … why don't they just do what we want? That would make direct marketing so much easier, wouldn't it? Unfortunately, it's not that easy. In today's marketing climate—with so many choices, technological devices and brand messages bombarding the senses—it's more difficult than ever to get customers to do anything, let alone what you want them to do.

Barbara Scott just hit the trifecta of computer security breaches. Since the New Year, Ms. Scott has been a victim of three separate cyberattacks. Two weeks ago, the online auction site eBay said in an e-mail to her that there had been suspicious activity on her account. On Monday, she received an e-mail from Zappos and another from 6PM, two online shoe retailers owned by Amazon. Both messages alerted her that — once again — her information had been compromised. “It’s disturbing,” said Ms. Scott,

As I think about disruptive technology, it’s clear that as an industry, we often get stuck in conversations about products, services, and features. In social media for example, we are enamored with Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and the like. At the same time, we tend to confuse emerging with disruptive technologies and overly invest in rising stars such as Instagram, Quora and to some extent Google+ before we understand the impact they have on our world and the impact we can have within each network.

At first, it's difficult to fathom what slapping Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh has to do with optimizing rich media for search. Difficult, that is, until typing "shoes" into Google pulls up an organic listing with Zappos in second, usurped only by the word itself - Shoes.com.

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