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Wednesday, 11 November 2009

What the greatest fraud in history can teach you about marketing

There is no more perceptive, wise or helpful commentator on marketing's many lunacies than Denny Hatch.

Here is an extract from his latest.

I never really understood exclusivity until Bernie Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi scheme put a spotlight on it. As Laurence Leamer wrote in The Huffington Post:

"It was an honor having him handle your fortune. He didn't take just anybody. He turned down all kinds of people, and that made you want to give the man even more of your money. When he took your fortune, he told you that he would tell you nothing about how he achieved his returns. He was a god. He had the Midas touch."

Web sites have been built on this exclusivity thing. Among them: Gilt.com, RueLaLa.com and HauteLook.com. They offer to “members only” the same upmarket designer merchandise sold by Saks, but at deeply discounted sale prices during specific time periods.

Saks is fighting back with an exclusive online “private event” that the CEO of HauteLook.com calls “the new way of retail.”

It ain’t new.

Saks is engaging in a technique as old as the hills. It’s called good, ol'-fashioned, time-tested, accountable direct marketing.

Go now and read the rest at http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/article/advertising-goes-high-tech-its-data-arithmetic-and-its-time-414303.html.

I'm afraid he quotes one of my most appalling jokes - but apart from that it's all pure gold.

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