Launching a direct marketing campaign is a bit like piloting an airplane: skip the preflight details and you could be making an emergency landing in some remote cornfield; overlook the basics and you could be setting yourself up for a crash. Long before you roll down the runway, make sure you haven’t neglected to address these 9 musts for implementing a great direct marketing campaign.
Imagine being invited to a party whose guest of honor is someone you’ve been dying to meet. The place is packed. The cacophony of voices is deafening. Throughout the evening you make many attempts to introduce yourself, but you only get a few measly seconds of eye contact before their attention is drawn away by hordes of others trying to do the same thing.
Pundits say that Americans now spend up to 60 hours a week engaging with media¹. In fact, with active and passive consumption (e.g., watching TV while surfing the web and/or reading tweets) it is actually possible to sit through more than 24 hours of linear content in a day.
You’ve done your due diligence. Still, your direct marketing response rates are sagging like an old pair of stretch pants, or waning like voter turnout in a midterm election. All eyes are on you. Just yesterday, your boss flashed you his infamous death stare when you passed in the hallway. Your heartrate is up. It’s panic time.
Immerse yourself in the marketing world long enough, and you’ll likely hear some pretty interesting terms and phrases. For example, have you ever considered what the term “full-service marketing” means?
The experience was all too familiar: I was well into developing a new brand identity for a large company. Great ideas sprang forth like daisies—not just from me, but a surprising range of people across the organization. Yet these were quickly trampled and discarded by an onslaught of naysayers or literalists who held enormous sway because of their position. This went on for weeks, squandering untold hours, fraying nerves, disrupting productivity and costing the company a pretty penny.
Major companies spend millions, sometimes billions to create or recreate a distinctive identity, including a logo, tagline, unique selling proposition, vision, mission statement, plus various other brand accouterments. This is certainly time and money well spent, since brand equity is often the most valuable asset an organization will ever own.
Back in the day, when direct marketing was new and giants like Les Wunderman and “Rocket” Ray Jutkins roamed the earth, you engaged audiences with proven performers like stickers, written checklists, tear-off coupons, membership cards and so forth.
“So much which is a pleasure to write is a pain in the neck to read.”
-Michael Frayn, playwright
With free tools available online, almost anyone can publish decent compositions of text and images seen by millions in minutes. But just as having a driver’s license doesn’t make you a Formula One racer, access to stock photography doesn’t always beget great creative.