Direct Selling: The Theory of Relativity
No, you didn’t accidentally open a science journal, and no, this isn’t an article about Einstein’s theory of relativity. Instead, it’s an explanation of why so many direct mail efforts simply do not work. They lack relativity, the ability to relate to their audience, or for that matter, offer any relevance at all. This theory isn’t about the continuum of space and time but about cause and effect. Simply, when marketing to a target audience, if you deliver a relevant message in a relevant format in a relevant presentation, your chances of achieving a desired response will grow exponentially.
This all sounds simple, right? Then why have so many of today’s multi-channel brands become arrogant in their marketing techniques, solely concentrating on what makes them special instead of on what their brand truly means to customers? For years we’ve heard the example that “Black & Decker doesn’t sell drills … they sell holes!” Holes are what customers want, right? What good is a drill if it cannot drill a hole? And therein lies the problem that many marketers face.
Keep Your Brand Promise
Understanding what your customers care about begins with your brand promise. This promise delivers relevant and unique benefits to a specific audience—not relevant to you but relevant to a specific audience. Volvo expresses its brand promise as: “Only Volvo delivers assurance of the safest ride to parents who are concerned about their family’s well-being.”
There are two critical parts of a brand promise that every company must understand before delivering relevant content. The first is a higher-order benefit. In Volvo’s case, the company understands this concept by promising safety, not just a sturdy, well-built car.
The second critical part of a brand promise is the need to define your specific audience. Truthfully, many marketers get hung up in their quest to be all-inclusive and politically correct. Great brands must reflect the customer in their message and deliver personal relevance, even if it alienates others.