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Posts Tagged ‘Marketing and Advertising’

Ogilvy On Tracking

In Tips, Trends on November 4, 2010 at 2:54 pm


A friend tweeted a link to this video from the legendary David Ogilvy this week. It’s worth a look. Even if you don’t agree with everything he has to say, it’s refreshing – in a world of constantly changing media platforms and seat-of-the-pants marketing approaches – to hear from someone who is “all in” with their marketing philosophy.


While it’s hard to disagree with David Ogilvy, I do. I think he’s right that direct response, targeted marketing is indispensable. It should come before brand building, public relations or other forms of promotion. I agree that marketing should be tied closely to sales. But I also think there’s a place for unmeasurable, un-trackable, free-for-all, brand-building marketing. The trick is to know the difference. Don’t try to measure responses or impressions from TV ads or Super Bowl halftime shows. It’s tempting to try because the numbers are there (for instance, 106 million people watched the Super Bowl last year). But those numbers are mostly meaningless. They could be much too low because the ad or halftime show was so phenomenal that it got discussed and replayed hundreds of times. Or they could be much too high because (as is usually the case) there was nothing in the presentation to keep people in front of the set instead of in front of the fridge. (You can see why, regarding unmeasurable media, the quality of the creative product has such a great impact on the campaign’s success.)


This paradigm applies to a smaller scale as well. Don’t expect direct returns on the golf tournament sponsorship or the newspaper ad. On the other hand, don’t neglect to build in tracking mechanisms (like unique phone numbers or landing pages) for campaigns that are measurable like email, display ads or direct mail.


The lesson here is simple. Know what to expect. If you’re not sure what to expect, try some things out. Or, better yet, talk to a marketer who has experience with the medium you’re considering. If you can find someone as smart and charming as 1950s David Ogilvy, all the better.


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What’s your take? Have you had success with direct response media? Have you tried?
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Something to Ask

In Tips on October 20, 2010 at 5:37 pm

As we near November elections, you’ll notice more and more politicians asking you for your vote. It’s a central principle in political campaigning – ask for the vote. It’s important to ask. It’s important that candidates do it themselves. It’s important to make it personal. It’s important to ask in a straightforward manner without any hint of reward or consequence.

Fundraisers have a similar mantra. They’ll tell you that the most important piece of their campaigns is the ask. You’ll never raise any money if you don’t ask for it.

But businesses and brands too easily lose sight of the ask. We rename it (call to action), bury it (first register, then download a white paper, then get a free consultation, then we’ll ask you for your business), or just wait for the prospect to do the asking (contact us if you’d like to ask us to work for you).

If you have something to sell (and you probably do if you’re reading this blog) consider how you ask prospects to buy it. Is your ask simple and straightforward? Are you making it difficult for prospects to figure out how to hire you? Or, on the other hand, does your ask come across more like a plea? A beg?

Here are a few suggestions for formulating your ask:

  1. Make it plain. “Would you like to buy a glass of lemonade?”
  2. Make it easy to move forward. “Just click this big, red, gaudy button.” It’s important to reduce the risk of taking the next step. It’s not about luring them in. It’s about starting an easy conversation.
  3. Make it unavoidable. Sales calls work because they demand a response. Look for ways to ask for business that strike a nice balance – putting the ball in the prospect’s court without being pushy.

REACH has had success with email marketing because it accomplishes all three of these tasks.

  1. We ask in a straightforward way.
  2. We give recipients a clear path to contacting us.
  3. We put the ball in their court. Email (from a person) must be dealt with. If I send you an email, at the very least, you have to click the “Delete” key. But even that is a response. Email forces a response without being rude. And since it’s just as easy to click “Reply” as “Delete” we often get leads or referrals in response to our email campaigns.

Of course, email isn’t the only way to accomplish these three tasks. But regardless of the medium used, think about your ask. And, of course, think about this:

Would you like to buy a two-day review of your brand and marketing from REACH? If so, click here.