What Makes a Great Direct Marketing Client (1,203 words)
Success in any direct marketing program rests in two places: first with the client, and then with the vendor or agency. I recently asked our account management team members to reflect on the 1,200 programs we've done during the past two years, and tell me what makes a great client. Here's what they said.
1. Understand the direct marketing mission. As a direct marketing client, give your agency or vendor clear program direction. Don't just copy the advertising or general campaign objectives and hand them to your direct marketing team. Campaign objectives often are much too broad—and frequently irrelevant—to the direct marketing mission.
Answer these questions: What are the specific goals and objectives for this particular program? What specific work is this program supposed to accomplish? How many inquiries, qualified leads and sales do you expect? How do you want to trap leads and inquiries? What's the proper way to transmit the inquiries and leads into the selling system?
2. Understand the product sales process. Your agency needs to know exactly how your sales process works. When they ask you for details, "Check out the Web site" is not a helpful answer. Rather, give your agency or vendor specific information such as:
n A detailed definition of the product or service. Attach all product sheets, box art/copy, brochures, plans, ads, focus-group results, brand-position papers, press releases and any other collateral available.
n What's the target market? Define in detail target companies and consumers.
n Define your major competition.
n What are the unique product or service features, advantages and benefits, by target group?
n Why do these groups buy? What would keep them from buying?
3. Keep the mission clear and focused. The death knell of many programs starts with: "As long as we're going to send them a package, why don't we … ." Every time you pile on another objective, your chance of hitting your primary objective—generating a lead, for example—is dramatically reduced. Direct marketing works well when it's focused on a single performance objective. Great clients keep monomaniacal focus on their key objectives.