Monday, June 25, 2007

If you know who to talk to, a whisper in the ear can be heard more clearly than a shout across the room

I got a postcard in the mail the other day advertising the direct mail capabilities of the US Post Office. It raised an intriguing thought: with the demise of the 30 second commercial to the internet and other new media formats, what place does direct mail even have?

Advertisers are faced these days with a difficult situation. It seems audiences have shorter and shorter attention spans, and this is coupled with a market saturation of advertising. Everywhere we turn, we see ads. Even in our recreation, now, we get bombarded. Stadiums are sponsored by companies, commercials take up as much time on television as the shows do, and even at the movies we are assaulted with not only product placement but outright advertisement mixed in with the previews.

We’ve taken a look at direct, and found that it works better. A couple of additional factors play in. Where it is coming from matters, for example. People are much more likely to react positively if they know the source, whether that is a particular brand that they trust or even better a specific person they already have a connection to.

The more specific you can get with your target, the higher your response rate. The key is to make a connection, rather than trying to disrupt what is going on around you. Using our C.H.E.M.® tool, we strive to make that connection by presenting an honest message in an easy format that motivates the target audience.

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