Out-of-the-Box Thinking

Out-of-the-Box Thinking
Out-of-the-Box Thinking

When direct is in your name, it can set a pretty high expectation among customers and other constituents that your marketing will, in fact, be direct (i.e. relevant and targeted). DirecTV went the opposite way—on purpose—to get attention for its addressable TV advertising capabilities.

Now, I don't know about you, but when I get a package at work, I open it immediately. I mean, hey, it could be chocolate or popcorn or a Harry & David fruit basket. Or, it could be a pretty cool direct mail piece—as was the case last week when I tore into the big, white box delivered by messenger from DirecTV. But not at first.

I deftly sliced through the tape, lifted the cover, and “What?!” The box contained the biggest Slim Jim I've ever seen, a copy of GQ, an athletic supporter, and an “airplane” bottle of Chivas Regal. Considering I'm a 49-year-old woman, this wasn't exactly my speed (well, except for the Chivas). But that was the point.

 After ogling what should have been goodies, the following caught my eye: “Does this feel off target to you?” Um, yes. I was hooked. So of course I read on. I was directed to a URL. Intrigued, I spun around to my computer to check out the site.

Direct mail pieces (or in this case, direct, hand-delivered pieces) often get the short shrift. They're expensive. Potentially labor-intensive. But in this age of digital obsession they stand out. And when done well, they drive meaningful response—especially among high-value customers.

Maybe it's time to rethink your direct marketing mix and if you're not doing mail, add it back in. Sometimes thinking out of the box means thinking about the box, and what should go in it.

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