Strategy Session: Think Like a Direct Marketer
Our new creative wasn't as creative, but it was much more appropriate to the market. It read, "What's the most important test you'll take in the next four years?"
It's so easy to be seduced by funny headlines and clever approaches. But you have to ask yourself: How do my prospects and customers feel about it? What message would resonate most with them?
That's thinking like a direct marketer.
The Guide That Got You Nowhere
I do a lot of direct marketing for financial services companies these days, but I cut my teeth on Invesco Funds. When I started working with Invesco, I was asked to do a lead generation piece on sector funds, which are mutual funds that concentrate on only one area of the economy-for example, telecommunications companies.
I knew nothing about sector funds at the time, but I welcomed the opportunity to learn more about them. I did about a month of research in five days and wrote a comprehensive six-panel brochure on sector funds. It included the history of sector funds, their growth, our philosophy about choosing sector funds and everything else I had learned. The brochure answered every question you could possibly have and provided a wealth of specific information.
It failed miserably.
Why? Remember I said it was a lead generation piece?
After someone waded through all my copy about sector funds, he knew just about all there was to know. He could choose to invest or not. But the very last thing he needed was our offer: a free "Guide to Sector Funds."
Lead generation, whether in direct mail; e-mail; or even radio, print and TV, must give people just enough information to get them to move forward ... but not enough to allow them to make a decision. I guess I just hadn't thought it out.