Strategic Thinking

16th October, 2009

I read an interesting article recently about the company behind the personalised Carphone Warehouse welcome pack. In a nutshell, they talk about print sales people and their general lack in their strategic approach to business.

It made me think about how the sales person of today tackles clients' problems and how we find solutions. If we dont apply a strategy to a campaign then we cannot hope to help the client. It is important to listen to the client. So many people talk the talk but by listening you can get a feel for their business and invariably the client will explain the problems that they are facing in "enticing" business. By listening we can make a sound business judgement and begin the journey forward into finding a strategy to get them out into the marketplace and to make their name known.

Everyone is under pressure in the current economic climate. Clients want more for their money. They want value, service and competitive prices. Most of all, they want results. With direct mail, the results can be measured by response. Get it right and you are on to a winner. But response can come in many forms. It may not result in an immediate sale but whether they have returned a postcard asking for more information, telephoned or used a web based form, you now have useable data to analyse helping you to improve sales. It is important to respond quickly to any enquiries that come through to you. It may sound like teaching your grandmother to suck eggs but in a recent survey carried out by the Direct Marketing Association of all the companies that they test, a quarter of them failed to respond at all to enquired made via their website and the ones that did respond, the average reaction time was 3.6 days of which only 34% responded with a personalised reply! Shocking! There are so many companies chasing the same business that it surely makes sense to commit to being the best not only in terms of product but also in terms of service and reliability.

In spite of the growing popularity of digital media, print will always continue to retain a key place. People still want something to hold, look at and keep and because of this, it is evident that the role of print is changing. With the current change in trend, we anticipate that we will be asked to produce more direct mail next year. With a direct mail piece, a client or prospect can act upon it in their own time. In short there is still an increasing market for relevant printed material marketing and you will have to go a long way to beat relevant direct mail.

So the upshot is that the old methods are still the best. Direct Mail does work providing you have a strategy and approach your campaign in the right way for the correct target audience. If the Carphone Warehouse are successfully doing it, why shouldn't you?

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