Direct Response Marketing: The shortest distance between two points is still a straight line


Direct Response Marketing: The shortest distance between two points is still a straight lineThere seems to be a “new” direct response marketing fever running through all things online and social nowadays. That’s good news!! Finally, the rest of the world is catching on to what we’ve been doing for decades – direct response (DR). It’s not about the awards. It’s about engaging the right audience with the best return on investment.

We’re not the only people who’ve been doing DR for as long as we have. Some people were doing it many decades before we even started. But with the emergence of so many highly trackable media (PPC, AdWords, email blasts, etc.), the marketing world has woken up to the whole DR philosophy which states, “Results are all that matters.”

A little history…

15 to 20 years ago, with the advent of online media, AOL, Amazon, Ebay, etc., accountability found itself in the midst of a renaissance. Results seemed to be more easily trackable so some ad folks could be accountable, some for the first time ever. Well 40 years ago with advent of DR TV (Ronco, Popiel) the foundation for marketing accountability was laid in spades. And 50-60 years before that with the headline “They laughed when I sat down at the piano, but when I started to play…” started its own revolution.

Back to the present – kind of…

Sergio Zyman, marketing guru and former CMO at Coca-Cola, wrote a book in 2000 called “The End of Marketing As We Know It.” I read it and thought, “Duh!! Who doesn’t know that marketing is about accountability and ROI, not what creativity awards you’ve piled up on your desk? It’s not what your peers in the creative arena think. It’s about how the client’s customers react to your marketing ideas and execution.”

I love and highly value good creative. It’s a cornerstone of good marketing and critical to good DR. But creative awards are not the goal. Major marketing goals have been reached with some real crap. Look at Ginsu Knives, Oxy-Clean, and the Pocket Fisherman. The objective of marketing has never been to be off-the-wall, but to be effective – to get the right people to buy what my client is selling.

So it’s cool that marketing professionals a waking up to the fact that ROI – return on investment – is not only possible, it’s critical. If you or I or anyone else spends X on advertising, we should get X times 5 back or more. With online media like banner ads and pay-per-click you either pay for impressions (each time a 1000 people see your ad) or you pay for clicks (each time a person clicks on your ad and goes to your site or a specific landing page). That model is infinitely more trackable and accountable than a vague TV ad running on primetime.

But when even your newspaper, TV, and direct mail ads have unique website addresses or phone numbers, they are as trackable as a lot of new media. We’ve had the “technology” to track most media for a long time. It’s nothing new.

My points are that 1. I’m proud to have been raised in advertising with a direct response marketing focus and foundation and 2. it’s really cool that a big chunk of the rest of the world is embracing that philosophy.

If you’d like to find out more about how direct response marketing can help you, please fill out the form below and we’ll set up a meeting. Thank you for your time!


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