Informed DM-ers can outlast economic crisis

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Last week brought Wall St. to a screeching halt, as inves­tors struggled to make up for incredible losses and the govern­ment, faced with little alternative, committed public funds to bail out AIG, one of the largest US insurers.


The economic crisis we are in has been attributed to greed, lack of foresight, poor regulation and the rising scarcity of nat­ural resources around the globe. But as with any stock market decline, the myth that one can consistently turn a quick profit came to the forefront and was once again debunked.


Direct marketers know this is a myth by default. Exhausting keyword spend or an in-house file is the nightmarish “spray and pray” cliché. If you don't prepare enough market research or run proper A/B creative tests, you face making a poor deci­sion on behalf of your client.


Investors and business owners are now faced with the ques­tion of what quality or product is going to be able to retain and grow its value in our repairing economy. Even if market­ers have 99% research, testing and consumer feedback, there is still a need for what Thomas Edison called the 1% inspiration. I call this informed risk. It's the point in the story of a success­ful campaign when the creative director will say, grinning: “We didn't know what was going to happen – but we tried it cause we believed it could work.”


Presumably, you already have those risk-takers on your team. You've seen them succeed and you've seen them fail, each time doing ample homework before ultimately taking a leap. Moving into a new economy, the ingenuity that comes with informed risk-taking is going to be more important than ever in solving problems. The marketer's role is to inspire action and create a reliable and trusted communication line between buyer and product manufacturer so that each is informed and content with the products and services available.


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