Don't Neglect These Marketing Basics
Rick Doss, GM, InnerWorkings

Most of us know the keys to direct marketing success are multifaceted and include many—if not all—of the following techniques:

• Define the goals of your program with a clear and concise call to action.
• Create and scrub your list.

• The creative approach needs to be compelling enough to break through the clutter.

• Add multiple touchpoints using varied media whenever you can, and follow up with a live sales call throughout the process.
This all sounds pretty basic, right? It should, but I can't tell you how many times I've seen companies get 90 percent of it right, and then fail miserably on one very critical piece: follow-up. To better illustrate my point, here's an example of how a company brilliantly marketed to me last year, but failed to follow through:

Last year, a postcard arrived from a company. It was personalized with the correct spelling of my name and information (good), and it teased me into visiting my very own personalized URL (good again). While I didn't take the bait and visit the PURL (I remember being quite busy the day it arrived), I did save the postcard, as I liked the creative approach and wondered what would come next.

About three days later, a box arrived on my desk sent via FedEx. This easily made it past my office manager who is very good at keeping "time wasters" away from my desk. This was the three-dimensional mailer of all time. It was themed, personalized (good again), sent overnight in a box (sense of urgency), with all sorts of relevant material inside. The company also gave me a useful, creative, branded promotional item that I still have to this day.

What happened next? Silence. Crickets. No phone call, no e-mail, nothing. I consider myself a busy executive with very limited free time, but I would have welcomed a call. The company had done its research and perfectly targeted its message directly to my needs, but didn't pick up the phone to call me. Great marketing and no follow through made its campaign a complete waste of precious marketing dollars.

---Source: DMNews June 15, 2009 ( Rick Doss is General Manager of InnerWorkings. Reach him at


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