I almost fell out of my chair when reading that EC-Gate spent “several hundred thousand dollars but less than $500,000” to target roughly 2,000 food executives (//dmnews.com/articles/2000-12-04/12055.html). My only hope is that those dollars listed were Canadian.
Was each walnut box handmade? Were the nutcrackers forged from platinum? I'm sorry, but $125 a piece for a walnut, a nutcracker, a letter, a postcard, two boxes, a brochure and postage is ridiculous (and that's if they spent only $250,000). I only hope they're somehow factoring in the cost of sales rep follow-up with every recipient. Otherwise, I now know why so many dot-coms are losing money.
As someone who's worked on dozens of these types of campaigns for billion-dollar companies, I've realized that it's pretty easy to make an impact without breaking the bank, especially when a sales force is swooping in to follow up. I'd bet they could've had an equal impact for less than a quarter of the budget.
• John Heckman
Industrial Marketing Services