Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Being Direct

Everyone says to blog about something you are passionate about and just keep writing. I've been an on and off contributor to One Degree yet couldn't get into the groove. I think this could be it.

I was reading a marketing colleague's complaint that email is boring and hasn't changed compared to say social media. It made me think about why I love email and why I love direct marketing. It also got me thinking about the type of people who are attracted to direct marketing: the data geeks of the marketing world. We love the nitty gritty detail. The puzzle of crafting the message and audience, targetting the audience, gauging response and starting over again.

I love it because to me it's about reaching the goal of providing your customers the information that fits. It fits because of content, format, timing... whatever. And that direct marketing can provide the way to optimize your customer's experience. That's why this blog is not just about direct, but about great customer service and value. It's about building the value exchange (there's a value exchange game?).

Now this doesn't mean I think every customer wants a big relationship with you. Quite the opposite. And I think a lot of social media is geared in that direction. We need to figure out for each customer do they want to be your best friend (evangelist), your colleague (repeat purchaser) or an acquaintance (occasional buyer)?

Hence the title Being Direct, which I've borrowed very, very humbly from Lester Wunderman. His passion for what became direct marketing is a fascinating read as he discovers this new way to market. I highly recommend it. You'll find vaguely familiar terms like print catalogue, space ad, postage...

The marriage of that sense of discovery and fitting the puzzle pieces to increase response with the passion of online marketers, especially in social media, for customer voice and experience is what I look forward to delving into and exchanging with you.


P.S. Thanks for the encouragement, Ken, Mitch and Michael.

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