Friday, May 26, 2006
SmartBrief Has It Right, AOL's Real Failure, NAPL Business Review, Harte-Hanks Makes a Smart Move
Hasbro story http://multichannelmerchant.com/news/Hasbro_catalog_03292006/
Hasbro marketing executive interviewed http://members.whattheythink.com/home/060420.cfm
70% of Americans have Internet access according to Harris Interactive
AOL now says it would have been successful if it had taken Yahoo!'s strategy. What a crock. I killed my AOL subscription because their tech department's answer to every problem was "reload your software" and had no solution for corrupt or lost e-mail files. And how about un-compelling content? Or when you buy things from AOL's direct marketing arm that the products work. Or perhaps online tech support systems that don't crash. Or have people who know where the "on" button is on the computer. A good strategy would have been providing a satisfying customer experience. Do they teach that in MBA programs or do they just teach Microsoft Excel? I don't know a single person who gave up their AOL account who is not now having a joyous Internet life (okay, maybe joyous is overboard, but you know what I mean).
NAPL's new publication, Business Review, arrived in the mail today, and it's quite impressive. All I have is a press release link. Guess what... no PDF or other online version is available... I sent a note to them, and I'll see if they provide one, and I'll be the first to report where one can find it. The hard copy may be intended for the 30% of Americans who don't have Internet access :) Seriously, it's for NAPL members only, so if you or your company is one, get a copy. It's far better than the prior NAPL magazine, and I think you'll find it quite different from the tech and spec content filler that some industry magazines fall prey to. And besides that, yours truly is mentioned in the sidebar in their China story.
Harte-Hanks made an interesting acquisition. Well, maybe not so interesting because it seems so natural to have one of the biggest data base companies buy a direct mail producer. I doubt you'll see printers buying data base marketers. I wonder what InfoUSA or D&B might do. H-H specializes in many niche areas so this probably makes more sense for them, providing one-stop implementation (notice I didn't say "shopping").
i have mentioned it many times in my presentations and in my columns
i particularly appreciate how you have worked the layout so it's not excessive, it's very clean in its design, and gets to the point. well done!