Dragon for Dinner?
Adding to this fear is concern over bridging the cultural and contextual unknowns that make even the most seasoned direct marketing professional worry about finding a relevant voice and a market-appropriate message.
And yet, despite all of the complexity that accompanies marketing in a strange land, marketers who recognize the enormous opportunity that exists are in a powerful position to produce programs with a high rate of return.
A Foray Into India
Recently, I had an opportunity to guide the development of a direct mail campaign in India. The campaign coincided with the arranged-marriage season, and the message highlighted the need for life insurance by newlywed husbands, now newly responsible for a wife and soon a family. Copy, imagery and iconography all leveraged culturally resonant themes, and language cued from both the market and our research sources.
The campaign was well-received by our Indian clients, and this experience reinforced the notion that the principles driving a successful direct mail promotion really don’t change across markets. An on-target offer and creative development, while aided by in-market communication, may not require staff a world away.
While I am still waiting to see the response and sales figures of this program, earlier programs launched in India have achieved double-digit response rates.
This burly response likely is due to the fact that the average qualified Indian consumer receives less than one mail or phone solicitation per month. This translates into unimaginable opportunity in this market. The same is true of China, Indonesia and the Philippines, which are little different when viewed for marketing saturation and targeted marketing communication frequency within qualified purchasing populations.
While domestic and European marketers continue to slug it out in mature markets for fractional response and piffling market share, almost two-thirds of the world’s population still has not been properly introduced to the array of products and services we take for granted. Can you imagine a more compelling marketer’s dream: billions of people waiting to purchase vacuums, jewelry or rotisseries by mail, phone, DRTV or any other appropriate channel?