Arthur Hughes, Who Wrote the Book on Database Marketing, Dies at 86

Share this content:

First published in the early days of the Web, Arthur Middleton Hughes's Strategic Database Marketing remains a bible for direct marketers.

Arthur Middleton Hughes
Arthur Middleton Hughes

The book “challenges the very way we go about using our data and where we should be going in the future,” says Global Marketing Alliance Founder Matt Edgar. It describes “the fundamentals of consumer data management that every marketer should know,” says Universal Music Group marketing chief Angela Sanchez. It is a “must-read for anyone in CRM or email marketing,” according to Dell Computer eCRM manager David Hordwedel.

The book they are describing, Strategic Database Marketing, first emerged at the dawn of the Internet Age in 1994 and has continued to educate and inspire direct marketers  ever since. The fourth edition—with updates on mobile and social media strategies—was released in 2012. It was the seminal work of Arthur Middleton Hughes, a renaissance man who spent 26 years in the service of the U.S. government, 32 years in the service of economics students, and 34 years in the service of modern marketers. Hughes died on August 20 of a heart attack at 86.

A magna cum laude graduate of Princeton, Hughes worked for the U.S. Treasury Department and the Agency for International Development before turning to the private sector to begin his groundbreaking work in database and email marketing. As director of subscriber acquisition strategy for e-Dialog, he pioneered the calculation of customer lifetime value in maximizing revenue from the email channel--a concept just now finding traction at many enterprises.

Hughes was the founder of the Database Marketing Institute, which provided seminars on the topic to corporate executives.  Along the way, he taught economics at the University of Maryland and wrote eight other books besides Strategic Database Marketing, including The Complete Database Marketer. A debunker of the popular science behind current theories on global warming, Hughes recently co-authored About Face! Why the world needs more carbon dioxide.

Hughes was an “intellectual beast and social delight beloved by all who knew him,” who entertained friends and family with his skills to improvise songs at the piano, according to his granddaughter Sara Shielke. He is survived by his wife, Helena, four children, nine grandchildren, and one great grandchild. A memorial mass will be said in Hughes's honor on October 25 at Saint Sebastian Catholic Church in Fort Lauderdale.

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

We recently were named B2B Magazine's Direct Marketing Agency of the Year, and with good reason: We make real, measureable, positive change happen for our clients. A full-service agency founded in 1974, Bader Rutter expertly helps you get the right message to the right audience at the right time through the right channels. As we engage our clients' audiences along their journey, direct marketing (email, direct mail, phone, SMS) and behavioral marketing (SEM, retargeting, contextual) channels deliver information relevant to the needs of each stage. We are experts at implementing and leveraging marketing technologies such as CRM and marketing automation in order to synchronize sales and marketing communications. Our team of architects and activators plan, execute, measure and adjust in real time to ensure the strategy is working as needed and change things if it's not.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above