Gilbert Direct Marketing
It seems that Twitter is all the rage these days. The topic seems to polarize people: Some find it a useful and productive marketing tool, while others find it a waste of time and “much ado about nothing.” I fall more into the first group, in that I remain cautiously optimistic. I use Twitter to build my personal brand (www.twitter.com/gilbertdirect) and drive traffic to my blog.
Being a C-level executive these days has to be the ultimate challenge. These execs face a ton of pressure to keep their companies above water during these turbulent times. Truly, I feel for them.
Last week, word quickly spread that the USPS is looking to offer a "summer sale" on postage for large volume mailers of Standard mail, pending Postal Regulatory Commission approval. Friends and readers, if this is true, I'd have to say that for the first time in my career in direct marketing, the people running the USPS may be thinking like businesspeople and not as a bureaucracy.
Why do catalogs fail? The answer is deceptively simple, while the remedy is not. Most catalogs fail because they walk away from the basics; they ignore the elementary economic analyses necessary to properly measure and control the business.
For years catalogers have used dollars per book as their main statistic for measuring catalog performance. As a tool for measuring gross or net demand, it has held up well, allowing catalogers to compare list segments and the overall results of different catalogs. But as every businessman knows, generating demand is only part of the puzzle.
Earlier today the Florida House of Representatives was supposed to vote on its version of a do-not-mail bill (HB 781). Luckily for Florida and the rest of the country, and our economy, the vote never happened.
Whether we like it or not, we’re all in this recessionary economy together. If you're still lucky enough to be employed, listen carefully to my message, as simplistic as it may seem: It’s time to put aside the natural rivalry, competitiveness, intraorganizational politics and just plain silliness that is everyday business life if you want to stay employed, and moreover, to keep your business from going under.
With that bit of humor I start part two of my column about finding the right direct marketing consultant for your business. (For part 1, click here.) Many budding consultants get their starts after downsizing. And in this economy, many consultancies are springing up as more and more good marketing people are let go from their jobs.
Now more than ever, fear is driving the business process. To break it down, business owners/C-levels/boards of directors, terrified of the current economy, are making decisions based on fear.
I recently had a conversation with another catalog consultant about a client proposal we’re jointly working on. The conversation worked its way to a discussion on the basic fundamentals of direct marketing. In essence, what's the most basic fundamental of direct marketing that we need to present and our clients need to follow?