B-to-B Insights: A Perfect ‘10’
You can’t tell from my picture, but I’m a tall person. And while I don’t play it as well as I used to, I’m fascinated by the game of basketball—and have been ever since I was small.
Growing up in southern California, being a student of basketball meant studying John Wooden, the legendary UCLA coach whose teams once won 88 games in a row and captured 10 NCAA championships, seven of them in succession.
Whenever “March madness” approaches, as it does now, I think of the Wizard of Westwood. Wooden told me he hates that nickname because his success had nothing to do with wizardry and everything to do with the mastery of fundamentals.
Just like successful direct marketing.
Our business is replete with sophisticated data models,intricate research methods, dynamically assembled messaging techniques and all the rest of it. But when it comes to the essence of what we do—presenting an offer within a message to a select target audience segment that causes it to respond immediately—advanced success comes from implementing the fundamentals of direct marketing.
I’m amazed at how frequently fundamental concepts are forgotten, overlooked or simply ignored in direct marketing campaigns. This lapse leads to campaigns that are high on concept and brand integration but low on results.
To forestall this at The Kern Organization, I always ask the presenting team: “Have you executed the fundamentals with perfection?” I’d encourage you to do the same with each of your campaigns, using the pyramid below.
Getting Their Attention
As we know, consumers are overwhelmed with messages—as many as 3,000 per day—competing for their attention and trust. So the bottom row of our pyramid contains four adjectives that should apply to every one of your outgoing messages.
s Arresting: How eye-catching is your message? What have you done to make it impressive, noticeable or striking? A message that is arresting is not necessarily one that shouts from the rooftops. Interest can be piqued by speaking softly. Curiosity can be aroused by not using any words at all. Or, alternatively, by not using any pictures.