Duh! Are You Violating These 8 Basic Principles of Direct Marketing?
When a sports team has a bad season, you will eventually see an interview in which the coach gives his "Duh" speech. You know the one I mean. The interviewer shoves a microphone in the coach's face and asks what he plans to do differently next season.
The coach then starts talking about getting back to basics and drilling on the fundamentals. And you're sitting there in your living room muttering to the TV screen, "Duh!" Because everything he's saying he plans to do he should have been doing all along.
Fortunately, when things aren't going right in direct marketing, we don't have to humble ourselves on national television. But giving ourselves a little "Duh" speech and getting back to basics is still a good idea, since most problems are caused by violations of basic principles. Here are just a handful:
1. Sell good products. Duh! Sounds obvious, but over time you can convince yourself that your marketing techniques are so effective that you can easily pawn off lackluster merchandise. But selling crap is hard work. The more lame the product, the more you have to rely on tricky techniques to get people to turn off the logic circuits in their brains. Why work so hard when selling products with solid benefits and great value is so much easier? Ads for good products seem to create themselves.
2. Sell things people want. Duh! Direct marketing is not about creating markets but about locating existing markets. It is a direct business-to-buyer avenue of selling that is streamlined, efficient, and profitable, but only when a market already wants what you sell. A couple of decades ago, few people would have bought a computer by mail. Computers were neither understood nor wanted by the general public. Now such purchases are common because a wide market exists.