Sometimes Direct Marketing Should Be Anything But Direct
Could it be that sometimes sometimes marketing should be anything but direct?
Direct marketing specialists are very quick to point out that one envelope color always 'pulls' better than another. That sans serif type the delivers the direct message is 22% stronger than serif. That multi-step marketing of three steps yields more back-end potential than a process involving four steps.
And they ALL have documentation to prove these findings. Like lawyers citing cases, DM gurus cite campaigns.
But sometimes direct marketing should be anything but direct because sometimes rules need to be broken in order for a whole new set of rules to become established.
At my last job, I was brought in to work on a direct mail campaign for a gorgeous new hotel opening on the east coast of Florida. Very shee shee> Wildly pricy.
The assignment was decidedly simple … announce the new hotel.
Now, remember, I was new to this new agency, so I was prepared to fall in line. I sat ready to make very few waves. So when the edict came down that it would be a standard letter in a standard windowed envelope, I was ready to deliver.
But I was also ready to do more because the hotel itself 'felt' as if it deserved better. A hotel such as this one 'felt' as if it needed to be careced more to the new people who would stay within its luxurious walls. And sleep on its toxicating beds looking out over the Atlantic Ocean.
I wanted people to experience the mahogany through my sales pitch … and I was not convinced that standard letters in standard windowed enveloped was the way to do it.
So I did what I always suggest to others … I covered the assignment and then I did what I thought was best. (Covering the assignment is just another way of saying I followed directions perfectly.) I presented ideas with the envelope and the standard letter and the serif type … but then I went a step further.
I presented something that 'felt' worthy of the hotel. It was a multifold full bleed brochure that absolutely reicked of grandeur … because that was exactly what the hotel 'felt' like. Instead of being incredibly direct (with copy listings) I went less than direct (with the photos) and let people read into it.
Hardly genius on my part. But it worked.
The result of zigging instead of just zagging? I sold the piece and it has been valued 'book piece' of mine ever since. So in hind sight, YES. Sometimes direct marketing should be anything but direct.
The potential for learning because of this?
Continue to do EXACTLY what is required. Then ALWAYS do what your heart tells you is right.