Direct Selling: Killer Kickoffs
Your marketing efforts are under attack! They are costing more to produce and getting lackluster results, right? Your efforts must be stepped up in order to survive. In most cases, every marketing effort your company has produced could have been stronger, more strategic and garnered better results. Almost every time the culprit that keeps you from stellar results can point back to the kickoff meeting.
Every time you send an e-mail, solo package, catalog—any marketing tool intended to garner response—you should begin the project with a carefully planned kickoff meeting. This allows the creative team to collaborate strategically, not work individually in a vacuum. Conversely, a hasty, ill-prepared handoff can lead to disappointment and schedule-busting redesigns. The kickoff meeting is so important that failure to give it the time and attention it deserves can become an expensive mess.
Who should be involved? Anyone who has a stake in creating results. This means at least the product manager, designer, copywriter, production manager and even the marketing strategist. Yes, a marketing representative needs to be at the kickoff meeting. Marketers are typically not involved, and this is a big mistake because they provide strategic input that can bring clarity to the "who, what and why" of the effort.
As for who is in charge, it tends to work best for whoever owns the product development (merchandiser, product manager, etc.) to lead the way. This individual is in the best position to explain the unique features and benefits to the rest of the team.
As you prepare for your next creative kickoff meeting, consider using the following checklist. In fact, a customized checklist, suited to your brand, should be sent to all participants prior to the meeting so thoughtful preparation occurs.
Remember, an offer can be a full-price product with special value.
- Why was it created?
- What problem will it solve for the customer?
- What are we asking the customer to do?
- What is the overall strategy?
- What are the goals in terms of response rate or overall sales, and how is the offer going to help reach those goals?
- Who is getting this piece, and what is his relationship to your company? The message that you send to a customer should be drastically different from the message you send to a prospect, who may not even know who you are.
- Encourage the team to think about the individual person behind the demographics. What will motivate him? What is his attitude toward what you are selling?
- What key words can you use to speak directly to his needs?
- Your brand isn't your logo; it's the consumer's perception of your company. How can you remind—or for a pros- pect, introduce—the recipient of your unique point of differentiation?
- How can you prove that you are delivering on your brand promise?
- What words and visual cues can you use to reiterate your brand?