Rapp New Zealand's Wayne Pick on Creating a Higher Level of Engagement
In October, I attended the DMA08 show in Las Vegas and had the great pleasure of hearing Wayne Pick, executive creative director of Rapp New Zealand, talk about how truly creative direct mail can warm up cold prospects. He discussed how many folks are suffering from the double-whammy of fiscal and, to use his term, “time poverty” and simply require more innovative, relevant and even honest mail in order to respond. Afterward, I invited him and his wife, Kim Pick, head of copy at Rapp, to be a part of Inside Direct Mail's webinar series and present on a similar topic. Because “Winning Over Today’s Tough Prospects … with Innovative Direct Mail” on Dec. 3 received such rave reviews from listeners, I decided to conduct a follow-up interview with Wayne. Since moving to New Zealand in late 2004, Wayne has won more than 90 local and international awards, including the Grand Prix for the past three years at New Zealand’s national direct marketing awards, the RSVPs.
Boldt: You mentioned that the current economic conditions have created a siege mentality among prospects. What does that mean to direct mailers?
Pick: A siege mentality means you feel bombarded, and your defenses go up. When the mail arrives, you are less likely to consider it: You will have already, in some way, drawn up your demarcation line between what you need and what you don’t. We need to be more compelling—to resonate more by having messages that are tailored and meaningful to the person getting it. We can’t in any way be considered hard sell or spam. We can’t force our way in—we need to be invited in.
Boldt: Instead, you advocate something called “DM 2.0.”
Pick: We came up with that term as a way to talk about the impact of Web 2.0 values on DM—and we have seen it being used more and more in 2008. It’s a natural progression from looking at the core values of Web 2.0—such as openness, transparency and respect for users—and understanding that recipients of DM expect the same thing. What we say as direct marketers can be challenged in milliseconds in a Google search—and what we are not saying can be found out as well. So it’s about a move away from hyperbole and hard sell advertising into real relationship building with people.