Higher-cost, Hyper-targeted Efforts Can Win Big (1,164 words)
Even with good targeting, traditional direct marketing can be like spam: Blow something out to a huge, targeted audience and then live on tiny response rates. But high connection marketing is marketing only to the targets you want to see. You can't generate a response if you don't get noticed—regardless of how well you target. Many recipients automatically throw regular direct mail in the trash. But nobody trashes an intriguing box without doing some investigation.
I've worked for several companies and ad agencies doing direct marketing. We've all been trained that a good response rate is 1 percent. But with hyper-targeting, I've seen response rates of 93 percent and close rates of 10 percent.
High connection works because it's promotion-oriented. The goal is not to sell the product but to create an experience that initiates a relationship between the prospect and the seller. The focus is on inciting action in prospects by making the connection. When you think of connections, the world shrinks. To find connections, continuously research purchase behavior and the emotional factors that drive it. This provides the underpinning for nearly all the work you do and enables you to hyper-target campaigns. The large response rates make it worth sweating the details.
Another example of a high-impact promotion that was worth the effort—and expense—was a trade show effort Integer Group did for Polk (now Equifax). The client challenged us to create excitement about its new catalog-buyer lists (Response Selector) at the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) annual conference. But trade shows can be a nightmare. With so many booths, how do you attract attention?
Our "No Average Joe" campaign was a highly targeted promotion that hinged on secrecy. We used an interactive multimedia promotion that hit the prospects before the trade show. They were teased by the idea of our famous Joe, but didn't know who it was. When everyone finally met Joe Montana, the consultants and the prospects had a shared experience that formed the base of their relationships. Trials and orders at, and immediately following, the DMA show exceeded our client's expectations by 300 percent.