Strategy Session: 5 Big Ideas You Haven't Tried Yet
In his first book, "Confessions of an Advertising Man," David Ogilvy wrote: "Unless your advertising is based on a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night." To which I add, "And in direct marketing, your ship will sink."
Having worked at Ogilvy & Mather for 11 years—and constantly being asked, "What's the big idea?"—big ideas have been ingrained into my thinking ever since.
Direct marketers sometimes feel that if they get the list right and create a compelling offer, that's all they need to do. And it's true that those are the most important elements of a successful campaign.
However, in an age where everyone has access to the same data, the same technology and the same production techniques, list and offer are just the starting points. Marketers still need a big idea to stand out from the crowd-and get enough people to respond to their communications, whether direct mail package, email or even mobile text.
For many years, old television shows were called "reruns"—and who wanted to watch those? Now they are positioned as "New to You!" which sounds a lot more attractive.
Here are five classic big ideas you can incorporate into your planning. They may not be new-but they may be new to you.
1. The Big Format
The first big idea is literally a big idea. In direct mail, bigger is always better. By enlarging the size of our direct mail packages, to a #11 or #12 or even going all the way to a 9" x 12" format, we have always increased response.
In one case, the response went up almost 300 percent. In another case, response went up-but not enough to justify the extra postal costs.
But I'm not suggesting you change everything in your package. Just don't fold it and tuck it away into an ordinary #10—simply insert it into a 9" x 12" package.