ROSEN's Richard Rosen on How Brand and Direct Can Work Together
Boldt: For which companies do general advertising tactics fail?
Rosen: Let’s go back to the model of traditional advertising that said: “If I build it, you will come.” Purpose and pure awareness will lead to 80 percent preference, then consideration and lastly sales. The model worked for Virgin Atlantic, Nike, Microsoft, Apple, GE. They’d spend an obscene amount of money to make the model work, and then products just had to be parity or better. Nike doesn’t make the best sneakers, but it dominates. But who didn’t it work for? Ninety some odd percentage. They didn’t have enough money.
Direct came in; the silo approach began; better tools were used. Direct made things work better and spread money about.
Boldt: Where does finance fit in?
Rosen: It’s the driver of the whole engine. You take these three brilliant disciplines—in silos—brand, direct and sales, and then you’ve got this powerful discipline called finance. The missing link is the brand side, which has always been, “I can’t measure it fast enough, therefore I don’t know what works, therefore I’m going to put $1 million towards it.” It’s going to be a static budget, and their medium of choice is usually print, TV and radio. With their model, looking at velocity scale, they wouldn’t want to measure it, such as cost per acquisition point or cost per lead.
But adding finance gives you the likes of what Bose does today, what Dell did in the early ’90s and still does to no end: “I’m going to build a brand with medium to high velocity, and I’m going to understand what I’m doing, when I’m doing it, in real time.”
Boldt: So where does direct mail fit in with this?
Rosen: It’s but one medium in this continuum that you can use. When I started out in direct, mail was mostly used to drive the lowest cost per acquired interaction: “We don’t really care what it looks like; we’ve never seen a brand brief, and we really don’t care.”