the teaching company

A profile of the Teaching Company's Brandon Hildago is up.

This fawning article answers one of my questions about the Teaching Company:  why so many catalogues?  They seemed determined to use every tree on the planet in mailing me a veritable river of catalogues, each a glossy tome.  In the you-must-be-kidding department, pinpoint marketing, the catch phrase in the subheading of the article, seems Orwellian doublespeak for a company that mailed out (2010) 50 million catalogues and 25 million emails.  
Last year the Teaching Company, now with 200 employees, mailed 50 million catalogs and flyers and sent out 25 million e-mails. Each customer touch is correlated to a series of "control" variables to arrive at the most effective combination. The most subtle design tweaks can produce relatively dramatic results.
In February 2010 the Teaching Company changed the color (from pale green to orange) and location (from side to bottom) of an "Add to Cart" button on its website. Result: Sales improved 5.8%. In one mailing, replacing an image of Michelangelo's God's hand with one depicting the ruins of Petra produced a 21.8% lift in sales from its Great Courses catalog. There is little guesswork here: Even the lecture topics are vetted by surveys and focus groups before courses are created. 

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