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Al Pacino and direct response marketing

17179001_a697e76604_o1.jpgI’ve recently received several direct response efforts that are unfortunately poor examples of our science and craft.  But they provide some important lessons that we should all take into account when preparing our next campaigns, whether they be acquisition, retention or winback efforts.

The two efforts I’m going to write about appear to suffer from at least one flaw that I try to address with clients and employees.  I call it “fingertips.”

By that, I mean that the nuts and bolts and detail of the marketing effort or analysis need to flow from the written page or the computer monitor through your eyes, be processed by your brain and then exit via your fingertips to the email, instant message, Excel spreadsheet, etc.  It’s not about forwarding the print production schedule you get from your printer or assigning the analysis of the media plan to your least-experienced employee because it’s tedious.  Having “fingertips” means you know the detail because you’ve not only seen it, but processed it and then had it exit via your keyboard.

I didn’t see the “fingertips” of the marketing managers in these efforts.  Al Pacino, in his famous rant at Kevin Spacey in the movie  Glengarry Glen Ross would have put it more bluntly.

“Where did you learn your trade?”
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Focus on the Four

Humans and chimpanzees have a match on about 96% of their DNA.  That’s not a lot of difference between you or I in our automobiles, sipping a Starbucks latte while chatting our cell phones and our pan troglodytes relatives in the rain forests of central Africa.

And that 4% is about the difference between dramatic marketing success and dramatic marketing failure.

How can you avoid being a marketing chimpanzee?  Just Focus on the Four.

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