Bridging the Gap
Target Marketing chats with B-to-B marketer of the year Richard Rosen about brand-interactive synergy
Interview by Brian Howard
To outside observers, the rivalry between brand and direct has at times resembled a bout between punch-drunk pugilists.
Richard Rosen, president and CEO of direct marketing agency AlloyRed (formerly Rosen/Brown Direct), was named the first ever recipient of the DMA Business-to-Business council's B-to-B Marketer of the Year award, partly because he's a member of an emerging group of marketers who's trying to stop the brand-direct slug fest and bring in the love.
He was granted his award at the Direct Marketing to Business Con-ference (DMB) in Orlando in March, where he presented a session encapsulating his views on integrating brand and interaction (response).
Key to his methodology is the concept of velocity: the rate of a marketing effort's interaction with an audience (see diagram on p. 69). A pure brand-awareness effort would score a velocity of one and a pure interaction effort a 10.
According to Rosen, mixing media at different velocities within a campaign—e.g., print at four, TV at seven and PR at two—is key to building trust while generating response. And the development of trust has become tantamount in a world where dollars are scarce and the customer is now very much in control.
Finding the right mix—what Rosen deems the "sweet spot" on a cost-per-sale basis—allows marketers to maximize both disciplines' potential; established brand awareness reduces the cost of current and future interactive sales, while interaction lessens the need for high-cost branding campaigns going forward.
Target Marketing caught up with Rosen to discuss his views on the benefits of pairing brand with response.
Target Marketing: One of your beliefs is that brand and direct complement each other. How do you break down initial resistance from either side?
Richard Rosen: Education. There's got to be a willingness on behalf of the individual [to recognize] that both respective disciplines have their brilliance. The brand builders found themselves saying, "If I can build the brand, you actually will trust me …" There's a formula there that worked in the '50s, '60s [and] '70s.