Search Results for 'Direct Marketing'
Anyone who wants to get anywhere in the agency business ought to start out in account management.
Though “creative director” has been the title I’ve held for the most years of my career, I owe a good deal of my success to having started out as an assistant account executive.
BBDO Direct. 385 Madison Avenue.
Pepto Bismol was the agency beverage of choice. There were as many ulcers as vice presidents. But I didn’t know enough to be scared. That was piece of luck number one.
I love working for and with Founder/CEOs.
No doubt, this makes me an eccentric marketer and an odder ad guy, and casts extreme suspicion on my membership in the creative community.
Marketers are supposed to want to run their own empires – otherwise why spend all that money on a Harvard MBA and all that energy climbing the corporate ladder? Creative directors think the ideal client listens to their presentations, and then applauds. Ad agencies think their job is to please the target audience no matter what the client might think.
Is it the era of the mea culpa for marketers? Could it be that, forced to start a conversation, some marketers have learned that they have some apologizing to do?
In rapid succession, McDonalds, American Express Open and J.C. Penney have all joined the mea culpa trend.
Here’s the story, and a few thoughts on where, when, how and how not to apologize.
J.C. Penney just launched this video on Facebook, under the theme JCP Listens.
It was a good idea to start the conversation, a good idea to listen, and a very, very bad idea to go beyond the first couple of lines of this treacly video.
Clients shouldn’t have to wait months to see returns from an agency engagement.
We often deliver incremental revenue in the first 30 days. And we don’t sacrifice future success to do it either.
We call it Two-Track Planning.
You’ll find this works in most situations:
If you read what people are writing about display advertising, you will be tempted to think that the answer is, “Hardly anyone.”
It’s not that people – consumers, users, surfers, people – hate banner ads. It’s the people who make them and use them that hate them.
In 2007 Amway was a global, $6 billion company nearing 50 years in business. Known as a leader in multilevel direct selling, the company had nearly 3 million distributors in about 100 countries. From the outside, the company would certainly appear to have been doing plenty right.
Yet, as it prepared for the 50 anniversary, Amway undertook a massive transformation program, one designed to make the company more consumer-focused and performance-driven.
You made the move. You invested heavily to put your thought leadership online. Now you’re wondering what happened to all of the cost savings and audience growth you were promised.
Don’t blame digital. For B2B firms that view their online journals as a forum to host an open exchange with readers, the rewards are there. What’s more, the very tools used to create the exchange can be a rich source of data to help guide ongoing marketing efforts.
Turns out the Obama Campaign direct marketing and analytics team learned what we’ve learned many times over, that “the casual tone” often works best.
Whether you’re thinking in terms of “direct response,” “click-thru,” or “engagement,” camouflage — looking like something else that would naturally appear in the context and typically invite engagement, like a note from a friend in the email inbox — is typically a highly effective tactic.
Why do we under-test?
Here are some lessons from the winning Obama Campaign, via Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
I love this article because it neatly demonstrates what all marketers who use direct response tactics should know, but typically don’t. It gives some great examples of what marketers using direct response tactics should do, but overwhelmingly don’t. And it shows the results, including the large sums of money that most marketers leave on the table.
Their marketing crime: under-testing.
On Fast Company last week, Baratunde Thurston, comedian and former Director of Digital for The Onion, recounted a social media anecdote that would make any digital marketer squirm: he mistakenly activated a 3rd party tool for Twitter that spammed The Onion’s entire following every time they got a new follower. While his story may give me nightmares for weeks, the portion of his piece that really stood out was the importance of brand authenticity within the social space:
“For companies that see this new frontier as a marketing opportunity (and that’s basically all of them), it is a thin line between relevant and creepy stalker. You want to be where the conversation is and join it in an ‘authentic’ way, but just because someone is talking about your product does not mean he wants to talk about it with you. (more…)
Was it really like that?
Hundreds of hours were edited down to 40 minutes. It’s hard to appreciate just how little time that is until you see how much of what you remember is left out. (more…)
THE DIGO STANDARD: HOW WE SUCCEED TOGETHER
PART 01 ABOUT US PART 02 HOW WE ACT PART 03 HOW WE WORK PART 04 HOW THIS WORKS
01 WHO WE ARE.
While we can be considered a thriving independent strategy/ research/ brand /design/ innovation/ advertising/ direct/ digital /social marketing agency, we prefer this handle: brand-driven growth network. We make things grow, from product innovation to every facet of promotion.
We’re Here to Make Things Grow
Movements. Ideas. Products. Brands. Companies.
If we can’t get excited about growing them, we shouldn’t be working on them. The work we do has a purpose and fits into a larger whole. By maintaining that perspective, we make success more difficult. But in facing the extra difficulty, we earn our integrity, self-respect and market value.
Why Do We Say Client Fulfillment?
Because clients who are really fulfilled-fulfilled as people, professionals and clients too- will become lifelong clients and in turn, recommend us. That’s how we grow. Great Clients, Great Work and Great People.
Each of us is Responsible for Our Own Inspiration.
Don’t settle for less. Find, ask, challenge, orchestrate, search, revisit…do what it takes to get inspired to do your best.
We Are Smarter Together Than We Are Alone.
Bands are more successful when everyone knows their part. Let your band mates play their part.
The First Rule of a Judgment is Business.
We have an obligation to share our point of view, regardless of its popularity, both internally and externally. But once a decision is made, we are equally obligated to support it.
We Exist to Inspire
Our clients, consumers, one another, the world around us.
Clients need to feel our passion and enthusiasm for ideas that can build their business. We didn’t sign up for boring cubicles and never-ending meetings. Let’s make the time our clients spend with us meaningful, fun and inspiring.
We Are all in business development.
We provide value to clients and should charge a fair price. And should not be shy or subtle about it.
We Are a For-Profit Company.
We provide value to clients and should charge a fair price. And should not be shy or subtle about it.
It’s what comes from investing in people and relationships, valuing them above short-term gain. Make your clients, your partners, your people feel that true partnership is possible. Invest beyond all calculation in people who inspire you. Be an honorable and generous partner at all times.
We Are One.
We are one firm: We have many different brand names on our business cards. We may work in different departments. But we are all responsible for the success of our clients, either directly or indirectly. There is no success apart from common success.
02 Listening is More Important Than Talking.
Remember That People Come Here to do and be more.
Don’t put yourself or anyone in a box. Expect creativity from “account people.” Expect strategic smarts from “creative people.” Expect management smarts from everyone. Collaborate with everyone you can. We play roles but if we wanted to be limited by them, we would be someplace else.
Clients Are People.
If you can get them to feel that you know that, the rest of your job gets easier. Treat them like part of the team, rather than a boss or an obstacle. Tell them what you really think. Joke and confide and take the risk of feeling comfortable around them. Challenge them to inspire you. Challenge yourself to inspire them. Be big enough to celebrate when they have a big idea.
We’re all smart (or else we wouldn’t be here) and it’s not a contest. Speak up when it’s right and listen well and actively.
If You’re Here, You’re Smart.
Don’t hold back. There are no bad ideas or dumb questions. Only the ideas you held back and the questions you should have asked but didn’t.
If Things Go Wrong, Speak Up.
If you need help, ask for it. It’s far better to raise an alarm before disaster strikes than after. Together we can solve almost any problem. Communicate early and often.
Great Work Wins Business. Great Relationships Keep Business.
We proactively work on relationship building. What are you doing this week to build and strengthen a client relationship.
In Running Meetings:
Start on time, end on time. Have an agenda and stick to it (unless there’s good reason not to). Agree to next steps and follow up.
Promise Wisely and Then Over-Deliver.
Make no commitment without consultation. Give clients something they didn’t ask for. Sometimes, deliver ahead of deadline. End a meeting early and give colleagues, vendors or clients the gift of time.
03 It’s the Work
While not every project presents an opportunity for greatness, every one is an opportunity to practice your craft. In the long run, those who work more, who try it more ways, who do something good and then do something better, who crank, will accumulate many years’ more practice more than their less prolific colleagues. This confers upon them an unmatchable advantage.
Take the Word Brief Seriously.
Let’s not ever make each other guess which part of brief is the important part. Let’s include the important part. Let’s make sure our briefs are simple, compelling and crystal clear. Nothing in an agency is more sacred.
Like + Trust = Business.
People hire people they like and trust. It really is as simple and profound as that.
Especially at the beginning of relationships, while you are earning the trust and admiration that will smooth the inevitable bumps down the road. While figuring everything out, and layering the groundwork for success. Get on more planes. Provide more options. Ask more questions. See the factory, meet the workers, go to the research, talk to the sales force, get a demonstration, sample the product, talk to a board member, brainstorm with the client. Over-communicate. Over-collaborate. Over-deliver. Time and energy invested in relationships pays us back in better work, business and results. Oh, yeah, and better relationships too.
This is a Relationship Business.
We’re small enough that we can manage personal relationships. So, honor personal relationships. Treat your commitments as sacred. Communicate. Never leave your colleagues in the lurch. Be the colleague you wish for.
A problem, project or opportunity well-defined is half solved. More time is wasted not thinking well at the beginning of projects than can ever be made up by speed, efficiency or piling on staff later.
Design In Context.
The context is the user’s or the audience’s experience. Design in context. Present in context. Evaluate in context. The first rule of design. And remember that everything that we do is design.
Agree on Strategy, A Budget and A Schedule.
Simple, yes. Always followed, no. Let’s remember the basics.
Meetings, When Necessary.
We’re in an over-meeting culture. Let’s make sure we really need a meeting before we schedule. If we do, let’s show up on time and focus. Time is valuable.
Great Presentations Tell a Story.
One thought per slide. Tell a complete story, with insights and ideas.
When Presenting Big Ideas, Don’t Sell Executions.
Countless ideas get killed because the client sees execution too early. We sell big ideas first. Then the execution. We like simple descriptions and key visual to buy a big idea. Nothing more.
Creative Work is the Product. Get Behind It. And Be Ready to Defend it When Necessary.
Choice is good. We almost always have three options to choose from. And never one we can’t get behind.
Client Presentations Are as Important as New Business Presentations.
No understudies on presentation day. Casting is important.
04 We Are All Responsible For Holding Each Other to This Standard.
When our colleagues succeed, we all succeed- so help one another exceed the standard. If a colleague is not living up to this standard we have an obligation not to let it pass. If you have an issue with a colleague, deal with it directly, privately and professionally before you escalate. If that is unsatisfactory, get help. Professional expertise is given around here; modeling the standard is the true path to success.
At DIGO, we have a standard to live up to. It’s part of our quest to build a great brand. Since a brand is an experience you can repeat, we need to be able to deliver an experience that is predictably great. That doesn’t happen by simply hiring great people and letting them do whatever they do. Yes, we hire great people. Absolutely, they get a great deal of responsibility and the latitude to do great and surprising things. But they do them within a framework that we all understand. A framework that says what we’re here for. Our why. And some of our hows too. The DIGO Standard. (more…)
Marketing Daily’s Karlene Lukovitz writes,
When you have a name like Double Cross Vodka, April Fool’s Day is just too good an opportunity to pass up.
The ultra-premium vodka brand — distilled in Slovakia and launched (at least originally) specifically for the U.S. market in September 2008 — will kick off its first official consumer campaign on April 1, premised on helping people “double-cross the mundane and frustrating moments of life.” (more…)
Q: Let’s start with the name. Proove.
A. Proove is our twist on prove, which is a value we live by. It is a hard word for some people to commit to…I mean it is quite a word to live up to. That’s why I like it. It says everything we are: accountable, actionable and measurable. And we’re willing to prove it, not just say it. We live and die by our performance, and we’re willing to commit, right there in the name — in the very first thing you learn about us — to standing behind our work. And the extra “O”, that’s because it’s not all science. There’s some magic required too. Some art.
Q: Accountable, actionable, measurable. Can you tell me more about how you do that?
A: What got me excited and challenged about Proove is how we can not only provide service but also drive differentiation. Here is an example: our reporting that we deliver to our clients is robust, but we’ve taken it a step further. We look at factors outside of paid media that could potentially impact media performance, which typically leads to unique insights into our clients business. It’s about the story behind the numbers, the real story. We believe in numbers but we want to go beyond the numbers and offer actionable analysis.
Q: The media landscape is changing so fast. There’s the rise of social, the ever-changing world of SEO, new media outlets, shifting demographics, the rise of mobile and other connected devices and on and on. In the face of all this and more, how should a marketing executive view the planning process?
A: The planning process doesn’t change, but the consideration set when evaluating media channels certainly does. A key piece to staying on top of the landscape is to be aligned with the latest technological and targeting advancements that are being introduced. I don’t want to tell a client that he or she should be doing social, SEO, mobile, etc., just based on content — that was what happened 1-2 years ago and agencies are still making these broad recommendations. I want to tell the client that he or she should have media presence across mobile, social, etc., aligned with relevant content & with “X” level of targeting across these tactics. The cutting edge targeting advancements is what is exciting and what to pay attention to. The planning process will stay the same as the landscape evolves, but targeting is what is truly evolving. We develop a matrix of channels, targets and understand how they work together in an integrated fashion. It’s not just the channel that changes but the messaging needs to be aligned both for that channel, for the target and for the way the channel fits into the target’s life.
Q: You spent many years working at some of the world’s biggest agencies. Why did you start Proove with DIGO Brands, a mid-size firm?
A: Large agencies have their own model, which works for certain clients. I am excited about being at a mid-size agency because we are able to respond to our client’s needs with more nimbleness, flexibility and speed. In my first few months here, I’ve witnessed many examples of creative work, problem solving and innovation happen much faster than the large agencies. I’ve seen things that take literally 6 months at a big agency happen here in a matter of a couple of weeks. At a firm of this size, we’re able to bring our best minds to the table and to think proactively about the client’s business, not just their media. It’s a completely different mind-set and level of customer service.
Q: What keeps you up at night?
A: There is a popular advertising phrase that goes: “half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; The trouble is, I don’t know which half”. Proove is about putting that cliche to rest. We are here to eliminate the waste and being able to show the client exactly what happened. We’re not offering guess work. We’re offering to Proove it.
We try to be good children. We have a report card of As and Bs and one C, and we focus on how to turn the C into a higher grade.
What’s wrong with us? Well, perhaps it starts with a question, What’s wrong with us. A better question is what’s different about us? And who can that matter and how?
The stone cold marketing fact is that it works much better to be different than better.
Would you rather be The Ground Round or Hooters, assuming business success were criteria. Let’s face it, there are a lot of restaurants offering greasy fries, dark decor and lots of undercooked beef.
But how many mammary-themed restaurant chains are there? (more…)
Someone over at The Motley Fool knows a hell of a lot about how to create emails that cheer up the CFO. These are industrious testers, not lazy followers. In this era of short, sweet, vacuous little telegrams, only rigorous science could have led to these enormous letters. (more…)
You have to try on shoes. So who’s going to buy them online?
Turns out the answer is “a lot of people!”
Zappos earned trust and a lot of loyal customers by taking the cost and risk out of ordering shoes online. (more…)
Many people made small fortunes in the direct-to-consumer computer boom of the nineties and early 21′s century. Unfortunately for many of those people, the small fortunes were made out of much larger fortunes. (more…)
To us, direct marketing is the design discipline that is obsessed with stimulating action. Our on-site direct experience goes back decades and includes some of the most successful campaigns in recent direct marketing history.
Two forces drive the marketing successes of the future: the data/technology revolution and the need for brands to serve as the guideposts of meaning in an increasingly complex and segmented world. We stay at the forefront of these trends by serving clients who have the need and the vision to innovate and lead. Our founder is a direct marketer, and the disciplines of direct marketing infuse everything we do. We live and die by results.
We succeed when we deliver results for our clients. With this approach, we believe that every employee at DIGO is part of the direct marketing team, as is every client.
DIGO’s direct services include:
- Testing Strategies
- Direct Media
- Analytics & Reporting
- Integrated Campaigns
- Direct Creative in All Media
Strategy is different in a social world because brands grow differently when people rule.
We see the signs all around us. Design becomes more important—increasingly, it’s the key differentiator among brands. PR also rises in importance, while advertising falls. Discovering, channeling, exciting and curating expressions of passion become key disciplines.
At DIGO, strategy is about knowing where we’re going and where everyone else is going, too. It’s about solving the problems of today while building a vision for the future in an emerging marketplace.
We believe that emotion drives behavior, and that design details can minimize or remove barriers to action. We discover and leverage the emotional meaning of a brand, then build this meaning into everything we do. Emotion leveraged to action is DIGO’s hallmark as a master direct and social marketing agency.
DIGO’s strategic services include:
- Brand Invention
- Brand Launch
- Brand Relaunch
- Brand Positioning
- Insight-Driven Product & Service Innovation
- Social Media Audit
- Social Media Kick Start
- Competitive Strategy
- Integrated Marketing & Media Strategy
- Marketing & Business Strategy Alignment
- Metrics for Success