KCDMA Does It Again!

Sound thinking comes in all shapes and sizes. 

That was clearly evident at the recent KCDMA Direct Marketing Symposium. And whether packaged in the context of national consumer brands (think TOMS Shoes, Carter’s OshKosh, and Hallmark Cards) or more specialize BtB marketers (such as Black & Veatch, Associated Wholesale Grocers, and Veradata), there seemed to be some surprisingly consistent themes to success.  

Some of the approaches that struck me:

1. Be prepared. Know in advance what success will look like. Identify KPIs you’re going to use. But be realistic in your expectations. As evidence, TOMS Shoes shared that the company holds out a “Do Not Mail” segment to measure the lift of an individual mailing as well as a “Never Mail” segment to measure the overall return on offline investment (well in triple digits by now).

2. Be relevant. Know what’s important to your prospects and customers … whether designing a loyalty program or multicultural product line or developing a content strategy (visitors may come back a second time but probably won’t come back a third advised digital strategist Brody Dorland).

3. Be real. Associated Wholesale Grocers found that “perfect” photos of recipes weren’t nearly as well received as ones with “flaws” (i.e., looked more normal).

4. Be thorough. When developing a program, get leadership commitment and the corresponding budget. Know how to get ideas from – and spread ideas throughout -the company. 

5. Be open. Synchronicity can and will happen (if you’re lucky!) As Hallmark's Monic Houpe noted, “Ethnic insights can lead to broader appeal.” Networking guru Angie Pastorek pointed out that “the best time to build relationships is BEFORE you need them.”

Synchronicity. Like that sudden insight that was just triggered from what seemed like a totally unrelated presentation.

Again. Thanks, KCDMA!