Mason Geller Direct Marketing

With a little extra work, you too can generate powerful word-of-mouth By Lois K. Geller Things just seem to go wrong for me in hospitals. Not just things like long waits, hostile clerks, indifferent nurses and doctors who look like they should still be in grade school—those are just annoyances. The procedures terrify me, too. Like when an allergic reaction to simple iodine dye sent the top number in my blood pressure soaring into the 200s. So my knees were a bit shaky as I checked into Baptist Hospital in Kendall, Fla. for a small procedure. Imagine my astonishment when I got there.

By Lois Geller A few nights ago, I watched a TV show where surgeons, dentists, trainers and fashionistas turn less-than-dreamy people into dreamboats. They looked great, but I kept thinking, "Ouch, all that cutting, lifting and teeth drilling has to hurt." And then, I started thinking of makeovers and you, the hard working direct marketer. Would you scream "Ouch!" if someone tried an extreme makeover on one of your programs? We all would. Our direct marketing efforts are what we do, how we make a living. They're us! And someone's giving us a makeover—changing things. All makeovers hurt when they're about you. "That's Not

By Lois K. Geller Do you remember the Avis No. 2 campaign? "We're #2, We Try Harder." It was brilliant. Hertz's reaction also was brilliant. In an article I read a few years ago, Lee Clow, chairman and chief creative officer of advertising agency TBWAWorldwide, recalled that the president of No. 1 Hertz told his ad agency something like this: "I don't want us to talk about efficiency, clean cars, price, anything like that. The competition can duplicate all those things tomorrow. What I want our advertising to do is to make people like us." Make people like you. What a concept. By the

By Lois K. Geller A little effort and a personal touch go a long way. For the last year or so, I've been noodling about different ideas for creative in relationship marketing. I included customer service in this realm, too. So much of what I see and hear in both areas is blatantly self-serving, artificial and sometimes just flat out nonsense. How is it supposed to work? Then, last month, I got an interesting perspective on a speaking tour. All while hopping on one foot because I'd broken the other one. Everywhere I went, people stopped to talk about this

By Lois K. Geller Last week, I got lucky. I went to Philadelphia, my hometown, where I haven't been in ages (except for quick trips for meetings). My son, Paul, drove me because I'd broken my foot a week earlier racing for a cab. I'd been invited to deliver the keynote speech at the Philadelphia Direct Marketing Association (PDMA) Conference. I give many speeches, and I've discovered that I get a pretty good impression of a group months before the actual event. I had a great feeling about the PDMA, because the organizers were terrific. So I wasn't surprised—as Paul supported me through

How to Tell People What You Do: Quickly, Simply, Compellingly By Lois K. Geller It all started at an ARM luncheon a while back. ARM is the association for Alternative Response Media, the folks who sell space in card decks, fulfillment packages, etc. I was there because they were honoring my friend Joel Katz from Leon Henry Inc. I sat at a table where I didn't know a soul. I introduced myself. "I'm Lois Geller, president of Mason & Geller." Since they might not have heard the name, I added, "a full service direct marketing agency." I noticed their eyes glazing over, so

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