A challenge for Agencies

Posted by on 18 Mar 2009 | Category: Industry Trends

The Secret to High Response, Super-Effective Marketing is being able to migrate from a traditional mass market advertising model (i.e. ‘Spray and Hope’ ads or mailers), to one that helps clients receive relevant, personalized one-to-one communication – Direct Mail pieces (paper or email) that are WANTED.

But adopting this new strategy brings many new challenges:

  1. Most clients have not collected the right data, or any data, on their customers, and if they have it, they are reluctant to share it.
  2. Companies that have successfully produced programs using new bells and whistles are not sharing their results for fear that their competition will learn how to catch up to them.
  3. A majority of creative content providers (writers and designers at the agencies) are totally without any understanding of or how to write and design for variable, versioned pitches, let alone Web-print-to-Web programs, or database mining.
  4. There is the commoditisation in the products offered by a majority of print providers, and how it affects content providers, like creative firms.

(N.B. Above list derived from an amazing article by Harvey Hirsch)

Although challenging, none of these issues are insurmountable. The blueprint for success, although not widely known, is there and well proven. And like all successful marketing or advertising campaigns, expert planning and execution is the key.

Show me the money!

Certainly in our tight economy, the financial incentives to improve business results is strong. The question here is why continue using a largely ineffective, unprofitable marketing and advertising model, when a better, more cost-effective one can provide many times higher sales results?

Databases for Marketers

Posted by on 09 Mar 2009 | Category: Hints & Tips

Your generic brochure, direct mail piece, e-newsletter or magazine ad campaign doesn’t work as well today. People are being bombarded with offers and choices. Campaigns will struggle to get a 1% response, most often it’s just 0.1% being one per thousand. Yes, good copywriting, design and a superb offer can make a big difference. But a response rate beyond 3% is extremely rare.

This is because most online as well as traditional advertising or mailing campaigns treat everyone the same. It’s been referred to as the ’spray and hope’ system. These [often expensive] campaigns are relevant only to a few…


The secret to high response marketing lies in your customer database – It tells us WHO we should communicate with, HOW we communicate, and with WHAT offer.

Data mining helps you find a subset of your customers that are most likely to react/respond to your marketing campaigns. By targeting ONLY those likely to respond, you achieve about the same response/sales at a fraction of the cost!

But the problem with databases is that they’re inevitably in a mess. Companies are lucky to have one that has accurate names and postal addresses, let alone other specific details like the customers email address, birth date, product or service preferences and most importantly, previous buying patterns.

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