Famous Last Words: Hello, Avatars!
What These High-Tech Changes Mean for Direct Marketers
Our business is communicating with people and persuading them to change behavior. But if prospects and customers are simply names on a list, and colleagues in the office are the only people we interact with (which means we are all talking to each other), our business may be heading for serious trouble.
For example, a financial services company I know of sent an email to its customer list with the following lede:
My name is Jack Thomas. I am at the University [of] Pennsylvania studying Finance & Economics at the Wharton School of Business. But … my passion for the last 5 years has been & will continue to be in investing in the stock market. ...
His letter bombed. He was talking to—and about—himself. Not a single response. No serious investor gives a damn about what a Wharton student has to say.
Successful marketing communicators have the ability to get inside the heads of their prospects, think how they think and feel what they feel. That's not easy if the only people we see in the flesh are our co-workers, while everybody else is digital or the voice on the other end of a cellphone.
When marketing guru Axel Andersson would come to Philadelphia to consult, he insisted on staying at the Clarion Suites. Why the Clarion Suites' emphatically non-deluxe lodgings in the middle of Chinatown?
"Certainly I could stay at a four-star hotel," Andersson said. "But first of all, [at the Clarion Suites] I get a suite with a living room where I work and a bedroom where I sleep. Secondly, the price is very reasonable. And thirdly, I see real people! At the Marriott or the Four Seasons, I would be among people just like me. I see those people everywhere. You can't learn anything from them!"