Walk the Talk
There are always new developments in the direct marketing field. These can be the outgrowth of emerging technologies or they may centre on new product offerings from Canada Post.
I can tell you that it is not always easy to explain how these technologies and products can be used. So as a believer in direct marketing and guided somewhat by the adage “a picture is worth a thousand words”, at Highland Marketing we frequently send out our own direct marketing pieces to showcase some of these new and exciting opportunities.
Through our own direct marketing programs we are able to:
- show clients what they can do
- show clients that we believe in our own service offerings
- enrich client relationships
- foster new relationships
- augment sales
By “walking the talk” we often become much closer to our clients and we can discuss their DM challenges as if they were our own. This allows us to not just care, but to take care of our customers.
Just like you, we have the same challenges when it comes to sourcing target groups. For our purposes we have chosen to:
- analyze our current clients in an effort to find similar prospects
- develop conceptual “take to market” ideas within specific industries
In terms of the latter, we often identify a concept and then work the client’s marketing team or agency to round it out. When we combine our technical skills (our main backgrounds) with our in-depth knowledge of Canada Post products and what we have learned from some great marketing gurus since 1993, we are able to bring a lot to the table.
Looking at our objectives from a sales perspective, we hope to be successful in each of the following areas:
- new customers
- current customers, new opportunities
- as Highland Marketing customers
- as marketers that continue to use direct marketing
With new customers, we often have to sell the value of direct marketing services and then sell ourselves as the vendor of choice to provide the service. With current customers we are often able to present new direct marketing techniques and/or enjoy opportunities by cross selling within the current customer base.
Ongoing communication lets clients know that we continue to look for new ways to help them be effective with their DM programs. We have said many times that “It is not our position to tell clients what to do, but what they might consider.”
There are many different advertising media and all of these compete strongly for your marketing dollars. Each of these has its own benefits and we recognize this. However, as strong believers in direct marketing, we have always promoted the physical and tangible qualities of direct mail. It can be highly targeted; it is portable and can be read anywhere. Of course, this is recognized by most businesses and direct mail remains one of the favourite choices for advertising.
There is no doubt that we have seen some huge changes in many facets of direct marketing and this shifting landscape has required:
- explaining how DM markets have changed
- demonstrating why direct mail remains viable
- offering innovative suggestions to enhance success and enrich client relations
What are some of the things we have done to demonstrate different mailing options? Well, these include:
- Our own Highland Marketer magazine – 4 issues, one personalized with variable text
- Authors of the Gotcha Gang articles
- Roundcards, oval cards
- Die cut postcards – addressed & unaddressed
- Message in a bottle
- Lumpy mail campaign
Like many other advertisers, we like to mix our media as well. You are currently reading this as a blog post. However, we might also consider this as a feature article in a newsletter. Here are some of the other things we do to complement our overall marketing:
We also create learning opportunities for our clients through a variety of professionally written articles and as well as seminars, most of which we host free of charge. The following is a highlight of activity in these areas:
- Over 60 strategic articles posted to our blog
- Authored Database and Address Accuracy Primer
- Multiple Free How-To downloads posted to our web site
- Free seminars:
- Direct Mail: Why It works and How to Use it
- Fundamentals of Direct Marketing
- Machineable Presort
This seems like a lot of “stuff” and, indeed it is, and you may be wondering if it has worked for us. Well, I believe that it has in that we have enjoyed both:
- quality, incremental business
- ongoing relationships with many wonderful clients
I think that these are goals that most of us are trying to achieve and we are delighted that direct marketing has played a vital role in this. From this it is safe to say that we are pleased to walk the talk!