The Corporate Pitch
July 14, 2005

Who Speaks for Your Company? The new General Motors strategy of offering employee pricing on all new models resulted in a 47-percent sales increase in June. Ford promptly followed suit. Chrysler went them both one better by not only offering employee discounts but bringing back Lee Iacocca--the man who saved the company in 1982 and became its spokesman--to do the TV commercials, complete with the line he made famous, "If you can find a better car, buy it." In 1955 Ogilvy & Mather dreamed up the idea of using the CEO of Schweppes USA, the elegant, bearded Commander Edward Whitehead, as the centerpiece of

More Takeaway Points to Consider
June 23, 2005

* At, Hilary Osborne writes on May 16, 2005: Less than a quarter of business owners set up their firms in order to make a lot of money, with almost two-thirds seeking more control over their lives, according to research from insurer More Than. Of 1,000 owner-managers questioned for the Health, Wealth & Happiness report, just 3% said they hoped to emulate high-profile entrepreneurs like Richard Branson. Instead many were motivated by a lifestyle change--60% said they went into business in order to get more control over their lives and 54% said they did so in order to be

More Takeaway Points to Consider
June 9, 2005

* In other words, if Steve Jobs had been vague about when product will be ready, Apple owners would happily buy the current stuff. As it is, many of them will grit their teeth and wait until 2006-2008, becoming ever more unhappy as their non-Apple colleagues buy the flashy new PCs from Sony, Toshiba and Dell, and crow about all the goodies and advances. * Promising a date certain on forthcoming products can be a ticking time bomb. For example, from The Seattle Times: Emirates, the largest customer for Airbus' new superjumbo A380 jet, said yesterday it is seeking damages from the European

10 Ways to Keep Your Customers
February 1, 2005

By Arthur Middleton Hughes While your back was turned, technology caught up with you. Everything today works. Tires don't go flat. Cars start on cold mornings. Television sets don't need repairs. Computers work the same whether they are from IBM, Dell or Gateway. Most of our products seem to be made in China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea or Malaysia. They work great. What all of this means is that your competitors' products work just as well as yours do. If you add a new valuable feature, within six months all of your competitors will add that same feature. We can no longer say that

Linens-N-[Insert Your Store Here]
May 1, 2004

By Noelle Skodzinski Last month, an insert for Columbia House DVD Club appeared in a Dell consumer catalog and another for Real Simple magazine turned up in a J. Jill catalog. We suspected this could be an indication of more things to come, and we were right. A Linens-N-Things welcome-to-the-neighborhood mailing arrived in the mailbox with two friends in tow: an insert for American Blinds, Wallpaper & More and an insert for Bellawood floors (910LINTHI0204). The Linens-N-Things mailing (received by the Who's Mailing What! Archive in February) included a letter with a tear-off 20-percent-off coupon, and a "First Things First—New Mover's Checklist," which lists

Trading Spaces to Turn Up New Customers
April 1, 2004

By Sharon Cole It seemed like a typical consumer catalog from Dell Home Systems Co., but it wasn't. Between pages 14 and 15, and 38 and 39, was a bind-in for the Columbia House DVD Club (835DELLCO0104H). While the insert's product offerings complement Dell's, it is the first time we've seen this increasingly popular computer company carry an insert for another product. So why did Dell do it? No one from Dell was available for comment, but according to Richard Grunsten, a consultant with GSP Marketing in Chicago, it's likely because Dell wants to offset mailing costs and track down new customers. "These

How to Act Like a Good Copywriter: Part I
August 1, 2003

By Mark Hallen While a direct marketing copywriter need not pose a threat to Meryl Streep or Tom Hanks, the ability to do some role-playing can be very helpful in creating successful communications. Of course you should learn as much as you can about the product or service that you're selling. But it can be just as important, if not more so, to know as much as you can about the person you're selling to. You need to put yourself in his shoes, not to mention his mind and his mailbox. This goes way beyond knowing basic demographics. It means knowing what your

PC World's Formula for Success
April 1, 2000

Since 1996, PC World magazine has been extremely successful with its sweepstakes mail campaign--a light blue, 8-1/2" x 11" posterboard with a personalized double postcard attached to the front (207PCWORL0100). Upon removing the postcard from its plastic pouch, the prospect finds the secret of how to win an Iomega zip drive printed underneath. The Grand Prize is $25,000 or a brand new Dell computer, complete with Pentium III multimedia system and many other features. Recently, the magazine also has added a bonus prize, rounding out the offering of first, second, third and fourth prizes. These generous sweepstakes offers are surely enticing to consumers,

The When Factor (1,065 words)
December 1, 1999

by Jack Schmid Imagine, if you will, that a family is thinking about purchasing a new computer. How valuable would it be for a catalog marketer like Dell, Gateway or Compaq to know this information? What if every cataloger could know the time when a prospective customer is ready to purchase a product? There is little doubt that we could see double, triple or 10 times normal response rates if we could use the "when" factor. Catalogers are generally lucky just to know the "who" information that is in their customer database, relying on RFMP (recency, frequency, monetary and product category) information