Successful direct marketing begins with setting a few priorities. They are "List", "Offer", "Creative" and they are in that order.
The most important part of any direct marketing campaign is the list. This is the "direct" in direct marketing. If you're sending your message directly to the wrong audience, what's the point? Don't just buy a list of zip codes if your business is not regionally-focused. Don't purchase a list all at once—rent one. JDM is generally weary of list brokers anyway. Consider purchasing/renting a portion of a publication or event list. These lists are usually opt-in and under-saturated.
The list is the single most important part of any direct marketing activity. Don't even begin to think about possible promotions or creative design until you've locked down your list. Even the world's best offer and creative will fail if it's sent to all the wrong people.
Once you've nailed down the list, the next step is developing a relevant and aggressive incentive (aka, offer) for taking some action. "Call today" is neither incentive-based nor much of a call-to-action. Ask yourself, "why should they call today?" It's human to act on something with an incentive.
Traditionally, people think about list, offer and creative in exactly the opposite order. However, this is almost certain failure. Creative should speak to a specific audience, promoting a relevant and action-provoking offer. That's it. Non-traditional print sizes, attention-getting design or headlines are also great, but don't let yourself get carried away with creative. Remember, the list and the offer. Let the creative flow from them.
Visit JDM's new website for more direct mail marketing information.
More information regarding human behavior and marketing can be found on our "Psychology of Marketing" white paper. Register on JDM's website to download the full version.
Fact is, marketing is by definition is psychology applied to business. Customers make purchase decisions based largely on the messages they receive. However, are our marketing efforts crafting that message carefully enough? What are the psychological and physiological factors that influence how we receive and retain a marketing message?
The following excerpt from "The Psychology of Marketing" covers the power and psychology of intrigue.
Human eyes don’t see everything at once; the mind fills in the gaps. We are unable to remember every explicit detail so our mind manufactures the details tying the notes our mind took at the time together. The human mind is an eight pound guessing machine, so what happens when it receives an incomplete marketing message? It goes to work trying to solve the puzzle.
Teaser campaigns play on our interest in solving the partial message. The key is to make that partial message so strange or provoking that the mind can almost make out the answer but never does until the campaign’s conclusion.
A similar take on the psychology of intrigue is the innovative or just plain weird. Nothing can make your message stand out, be remembered and even discussed more than a strange, incomplete message. The next time you’re in a good loud cocktail party shout these words just loud enough for those near you to hear: “I don’t know. It started with this friendly monkey and then it…” and then trail off. You’ll see, first hand, the power of intrigue.
Topics also covered in "The Psychology of Marketing" include:
"The Psychology of Marketing" is available for download after a short registration from our new website: http://www.justindowneymarketing.com/CFR/jdm_Registration.php?refer=psych.
Most marketers took at least one psychology class in college but few learned to apply what they learned to their work. Watch TV or listen to the radio for an hour and think like a consumer. You’ll quickly surmise what their marketing department thought you wanted to hear, and you’ll know just how far off they really are.
Fact is, marketing is by definition is psychology applied to business. Customers make purchase decisions based largely on the messages they receive. However, are we marketers crafting that message carefully enough? What are the psychological and physiological factors that influence how we receive and retain a marketing message?
In JDM's latest white paper, "The Psychology of Marketing :: Minus all the Psycho-Babel", we’re not trying to teach tactics for prying open consumer’s minds and cramming the marketing message in. Rather, this whitepaper attempts to ensure the message sent, its frequency and its look are interpreted by the audience accurately and efficiently.
Like the conductor in front of his orchestra, this white paper aims to tune and pace the marketing message for maximum impact. We're not trying to coerce a love of classical music.
"The Psychology of Marketing" covers topics including:
What will JDM think of next? Vote for the next white paper topic on the adjacent poll.
Buy low and sell high. Could any investment strategy be more simplistic? In times like these, many forget this basic principle. Here we look at how a Bear market is really a lamb in wolf’s clothing.
The terms "Bear" and "Bull" markets come from how these animals attack. Bears stand to attention on their hind legs and attack downward using their tremendous weight as leverage. A bull, conversely, attacks upward with its sharp horns and powerful neck. The definition of a Bull or Bear market is cause for debate. The definition I use regards perception and perception is what really drives any market.
In a bull market, investors buy because of a perception that the price will continue to rise. In a bear market, investors hold or sell but don’t buy as they perceive the market to continue to fall. What’s interesting is that these are self-fulfilling prophecies. If investors believe the market to fall into decline, then the market will decline. The inflection between a Bear and a Bull market comes when perceptions begin to change.
Bear markets are sticky ones because investors are looking to bet against the market. Fair enough, but the opportunity a Bear market brings is often glazed over in the media. Remember buy low; sell high? Investing in a Bear market to sell in a bull is a long-term strategy of buying low and selling high.
The opportunity exists in these market conditions to invest when things are at all-time lows. Things will pick up. They always do.
Today, competition is heating up and consumer spending is down. It’s a natural tendency for businesses to look to changing their Brand through a rebranding exercise, rather than looking at themselves and making a real change.
Like trading your bathroom mirror for a fun house one rather than just hitting the weights, rebranding without rethinking is a recipe for expensive disaster. Here’s our top 5 ways to ruin a rebranding.
1. Lack of True Change
Rebranding with snazzy new graphics and re-written content is a start. The new image will motivate people to take a fresh look at you—and people’s primary motivation in taking a new look is to see what’s changed.
If you're the same old place dressed up in new wrapping and ribbons, you'll merely confirm your former position and you’ll have wasted a valuable opportunity to change their perceptions.
2. Making Too Big A Leap
Executives can often get a little caught up in their own vision of where the company could be and lose touch with where the company should be. When rebranding, keep your primary focus on the achievable, not the aspirational. If you make too big a leap, your market simply won’t believe you.
3. Lack of Internal Alignment
If rebranding is an initiative implemented solely by the marketing department, it’s likely to fail. Include all facets of the business from sales and customer service to engineering and manufacturing.
Of course all that input is useless if management doesn’t listen. Internal alignment will provide valuable insight into what the company is, rather than what management might like to think it is.
4. Failure of the Champion
While rebranding may be born in the marketing department, unless the CEO is the champion of that effort, it will likely die there. As the chief branding officer, the CEO needs to set the vision and lead the charge, ensuring that products, services, people, and resources are aligned to deliver on the promises implied in the rebranding.
5. Failure to Clarify Positioning
Rebranding should always clarify and refine your positioning. Your goal in rebranding should be to make it easier for customers and prospects to understand exactly why your company should be one of their top choices, why there are few credible substitutes for your company in the market. This isn’t the place for puffery. Merely claiming to be the best is meaningless—and using empty words like "best value" and "exceptional customer service" do nothing but create more skepticism.
As a rule of thumb in rebranding, if the change doesn’t scare you a little, it's probably not a meaningful change.
Learn about the new JDM at www.MarketingHasEvolved.com and our rebranding in our eNewsletter, ipsumNEWS.
JDM is now a full-service marketing firm providing our Texas-based clients marketing services that combine proven strategies, innovative tactics and emerging technology. We're developing cutting-edge marketing activities that not just revolutionize marketing, they evolve it.
The traditional agency model can be painfully inefficient and teeth-grindingly—well traditional.
We characterize our approach as Marketing Evolved™ because like evolution, we're not reinventing what's already working. We innovate what could work better or differently, test it based on hard data, and then incorporate it.
By combining marketing strategies proven by testing, incorporating creative and innovative tactics and utilizing the latest emerging technology, JDM is able to provide our clients (and sometimes agencies) more than just traditional marketing, but evolved marketing.
Need examples? Check out our marketing portfolio & case studies and see how even the most traditional marketing activities can still leave room for JDM innovation.
Of course, you don't have to take our word for it. Check out JDM's client testimonials.