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Speaking Directly – IABC Panel Discussion

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.comOn February I was given the privilege of taking part in a panel discussion put on by the Dayton Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators. The discussion revolved around the use of Direct Marketing. I was joined by Michael Boyd from BRC Marketing and Jay Harris of 1 Earth – 2 really bright and insightful guys. It was really a great experience. We all seemed to share many of the same views about the changing world of direct marketing.

Michael had a quote that I loved. In talking about the importance of matching up the right message with the target market he stated, “You only have one chance to be irrelevant.” I thought this was great. Heck, I might argue that you might not even get a chance at all. The idea he was putting forth was right on. People are busy. By contacting them with your message, you are in essence interrupting them and asking them to pay attention to what you have to say. Well, mess that up once and you will likely never get the chance again. Thus, you better do your homework.

Jay had some great insights about the appropriate balance between copy and graphics – especially as they pertain to email marketing. He also spoke about some of the work that his firm had done in developing successful direct response campaigns. He shared my belief that too little time is spent on marketing to existing customers, whom you already have a relationship with.

I got to talk a little about some of my professional experiences with direct mail and direct response as well. Even better, I got to discuss the exciting new initiatives I am working on at LUCRUM like the company blog. I put forth the idea that if you are going to do direct response marketing, keep the message simple, make the creative compelling, and get the list right. Oh, and make sure to check the phone numbers, web addresses, and other key bits of information before sending items to be printed and mailed.

All in all, it was really a great experience. I would like to thank Samantha Enslen and Sara McCatherine at IABC for asking me to participate. I am honored that you gave me the opportunity, and I hope that you and the members of IABC enjoyed it as much as I did.

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