Gilbert Direct Marketing
Just when I thought it was safe to believe in the U.S. Postal Service, I find out this lovely tidbit of information: Despite Postmaster General John Potter's grand statement (or was it a grandstanding statement) that there'd be no postal rate increase in 2010, there's a giant loophole.
Despite the economy, I still get a lot of mail these days.* So does my father. The problem is, my father passed away six months ago. His mail now comes to my house (and he gets many great offers). A few months ago, he even got a fundraising offer from the hospital where he died. That’s the definition of irony, right?
Over the last three years, I've been super vocal about my dislike for the U.S. Postal Service and its less-than-forward-thinking bureaucracy. When it slammed catalog mailers with 20 percent-plus postage increases in 2007, I went (pun intended) postal on it. Therefore, I have to applaud the USPS for its announcement last week that there would not be a postal rate increase in 2010 for dominant classes.
For this week's blog, I thought it was high time we go back to the future with David Ogilvy. Direct vs. general; internet vs. social media. Direct wins hands down. Watch this and see why …
This week I continue my primer on internet video and how it can benefit your company. Picking up where I left off, here are some more opportunities to use video on your website.
I recently conducted a testimonial contest for a client. I asked for all types of submissions, from written to video. Of course I was hoping for video, and boy was I rewarded. The contest winner’s video was slick, well-written, modestly well-acted and, with some tweaking and a call to action, could've actually been put on TV. All this came from a customer who was in love with my client's services, had a video camera and some editing software (like Apple’s iMovie, which comes standard with all Macs), and a couple of cue cards.
Friends and readers: With this column I hit a milestone, the three-year anniversary of my weekly column for All About ROI (formerly Catalog Success). At roughly 500 words per column, I've written nearly 75,000 words on various aspects of direct marketing in the last three years. Wow!
There’s just too much prime opportunity online — e.g., Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, etc. — for brands to get dinged when they screw up. In the few weeks I've been back from vacation, I’ve been thinking about this as I go about my day-to-day dealings with companies.
For the last year I’ve been saying — screaming actually — that companies better have their acts together, otherwise they're sitting ducks in this new age of customer centricity. If your customer service, products and brand image aren't all buttoned up, you risk getting skewered on the internet, i.e., the peoples’ media.
In the last 20 years, I've primarily focused on improving one area of multichannel retail: What's the key to improving a customer service rep's (CSR) performance in the call center? My experience has led me to one simple conclusion: It's not about technology, or focusing on the right metrics or even training. If you want to improve a CSR's performance, it's all in the coaching.