The obstacles were many for Microsoft and its business intelligence (BI) products. Not only were there many fellow BI products in the IT marketplace, many of those competitors had been on the market for considerable time, and Microsoft's set of BI solutions was more expensive than most of them-and adding to this were concerns about its ease of use among a wide range of workers.
The Norwegian company Tandberg, which provides high-definition video conferencing solutions for corporations of all sizes, wanted to get the attention of C-level executives in four verticals: finance, manufacturing, utilities and health care. It also wanted to get to them quickly. After all, its new line of products had been delayed, giving competitors a head start, so the firm needed a direct mail effort that would hopefully disrupt any sales process.
One engaging and prevalent device commonly used to promote diet and weight-loss products is the before-and-after image. For example, not convinced that product X will trim inches off of your waistline? Just look at the "before" shot of a frowning, overweight customer and then the "after" picture of a slim, smiling customer.
You have a first-class product that's proved itself on the market for 18 months. You've run some solid direct mail campaigns around, it and they've helped you capture 40 percent market share. Should you stand pat and send the same lead generation effort out again?
Coca-Cola has kept its soft-drink recipe a secret for more than 100 years. It was originally a public relations strategy, which helped Coca-Cola stand out of the pack of dozens of cola drinks and eventually dominate the market. Today, with revenues greater than many of the countries it markets in, Coca-Cola sells more than $50 billion worth of beverages every day.
According to Wikipedia, the few employees who know the recipe must fly on separate planes when traveling and cannot be left alone with strangers while they are together. As recently as 2006, three people were arrested who were trying to sell the secret recipe for Coca-Cola to the company's arch-rival, Pepsi, for $2 million. Pepsi was decent enough to decline and called in the FBI.
In October, I attended the DMA08 show in Las Vegas and had the great pleasure of hearing Wayne Pick, executive creative director of Rapp New Zealand, talk about how truly creative direct mail can warm up cold prospects. He discussed how many folks are suffering from the double-whammy of fiscal and, to use his term, "time poverty" and simply require more innovative, relevant and even honest mail in order to respond. Afterward, I invited him and his wife, Kim Pick, head of copy at Rapp, to be a part of our webinar series and present on a similar topic. Because "Winning