Database-Driven Creative Solutions (1,598 words)
Spilling the beans: How much is enough … or too much information … to do the job?
As a creative professional, it's my job to advise clients on what is the right amount of messaging for what they want to accomplish in the mail. While many clients come to me with a format in mind, I never feel the decision is absolutely final until I've asked two questions:
- What do we really need to accomplish with this effort?
- What would we like to accomplish with this effort?
The answers to these questions may dramatically alter the size of the piece and the quantity of messaging that you send your prospect.
You need to directly aim at the target and not get pulled off track with extraneous messaging that will slow down prospects' comprehension of what you're offering. On the other hand, you need to allow for enough information and that special extra touch, or the romancing of prospects, to set yourself apart from other messaging—to not only attract their attention, but woo prospects to make the purchase or respond to your offering.
This is one instance in which psychographics come into play. I call it "intelligent creative," and it's developed around your audience's wants and needs, and other psychographic conditions. It plays out in both business-to-business (B-to-B) and business-to-consumer efforts to spend just a little extra time providing your creative team with that information, rather than just stopping at demographics.
I'd like to share a few short case histories that show how reduced messaging provided breakthroughs for direct marketers.
Adaptec Easy CD Creator
Adaptec (now Roxio) sold a product for copying music from a variety of sources, such as out-of-print records, to CD. Its product was first sold using a direct mail package that was a very successful effort. However, when it was time to send an upgrade message, its problem was that the customers were happy with the software as it was, and the upgrade didn't provide many new features.