Ray worked with B-2-B and Consumer clients throughout the world ... including USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Middle-East, Central & South America, Africa.

This website is a compilation of Ray's 10 years on the Web.

 

Power Direct Marketing: The Book


Definitions

Let’s do some definitions. In every case these were learned from my dad, who said he never sold anything in his life, but he sure did buy a lot of stuff!

Advertising

Advertising does these 6 things—probably better than any other discipline:

  • It educates a marketplace—your current customers and your best prospects.
  • It informs the marketplace about a new product, a store opening, a sale—something.
  • It makes the audience aware of an opportunity they may not have known about.
  • It creates an image of the product or service being offered.
  • It positions the product/service in the market with similar and competitive brands.
  • It generates interest, the goal being to get you to move from where you are to make a purchasing decision.

Marketing

Now let’s define marketing. General marketing. Marketing is finding out and providing what your customers want. Silicon Valley public relations expert Paul Franson says customers are demanding things be done their way—this is now the rule, not the exception. Marketing must understand this very real situation and address it head-on.

Selling

Selling is getting your prospect and customer to buy from YOU . . . and not someone else. Selling, tied with marketing, work hand in glove. Together. The direction is clear. The greater selectivity available in the last two decades of this century has led the consumer from mass marketing to segmented marketing. Then to niche marketing, and finally to one-on-one marketing. Quite a change from the "everybody is a prospect" philosophy that prevailed until the middle 1960s. Today you talk to people as individuals.

There was a time when mass made sense. There were fewer goods and fewer options. There were not eight varieties of Coca Cola. In fact, there were not more than a handful of soft drink suppliers. Telephones came like the Model T of Henry Ford. You could have it any color you wanted, as long as that color was black. Companies owned a category—not just a brand—but an entire category.

Not today. A while back a friend from New Zealand lived with us for several months. She was amazed at our variety. (The country of New Zealand is about the size of California. New Zealand has a population of just over 3.2 million people. The city of Los Angeles has more than 3 million people. So it is easy to see and understand why we in North America can support a wide variety of products and services and New Zealand has to do with less.)

It was an experience to take Erin to the supermarket and just watch her walk the aisles. With scores of flavors, sizes, colors—dozens of options inside a single product group. So many choices today.

Things do change. In the late 1950s, jets were introduced by the airlines. An 11-hour flight from the west coast to Hawaii became just five hours. Your flight no longer had to stop during a trip from east coast to west coast. Transportation changed dramatically.

The 1960s were alive with action and activity. If you wanted to move, change jobs, get married, get divorced, tell off your boss, smoke pot—you did it. The "me" generation was active. If you were alive and even somewhat well, got up in the morning and showed up at your plant or office, you made a very nice living, thank you. All you had to do in the 1960s was exist to live. That all changed about 1969 . . . and the world hasn’t been the same since.

Lifestyles changed. Minorities were "discovered." The women who worked during and after World War II and Korea were no longer satisfied with just a job—they wanted and demanded the opportunity for a career. Choice of brands was okay. Choice of products was better. Demographics were important—psychographics were more important. And they both overlay geographics—and it did make a difference.

Mass became "not for me." "I’m someone" became the battle cry. Treat me as such. Talk to me as a person. An individual. Different products and services for different niches. Address my specific needs. As audiences become fragmented they also become more knowledgeable—the marketplace got smart.

One of the key reasons this all happened is what is commonly called the information explosion. Information is fine—I prefer to talk about knowledge. Information that becomes useful is knowledge to the consumer—to the marketplace.

What has happened is this. If we took all the recorded information from the beginning of time through the year 1900 and factored it, the number would be 1. (This is approximately 6,000 years of recorded history.) Between 1900 and 1950 that information doubled. That number is now 2. Between 1950 and 1975 it doubled every five years! The new number is 64.

From 1975 to the present this number is doubling every two years. And by the year 2000 it will be doubling at a rate faster than once every year.

A chart to explain this phenomenal growth of available information that we can turn into knowledge looks like this:

The Knowledge Ladder
. . . to 1900 1
1900 to 1950 2
1950 to 1975 64
since 1975 2 x 2

Every two years since 1975 the information available to us has doubled. Which means by the year 1993 we had nearly 33,000% more information available to us than when my dad was born at the beginning of the 20th century. Wow!

And look what is forecast for the future . . . a future that most of us will be around for. It is predicted that by the year 2020, 97% of everything we will know and use doesn’t exist today. Again, wow!

Who’s driving the marketing revolution? Customers and prospects are driving it! They have NEEDS, and they know there is a place for those needs to be fulfilled.

Those companies that are most acutely aware that this revolution is currently happening can readily see why the marketing capabilities of direct response marketing are so successful in today’s marketplace. These companies will embrace direct response as a prime force for growth and success.

A company that understands the marketing revolution and is doing something about it is the Marriott Corporation. Today they offer a brand umbrella of the Marriott name and seven hotel concepts to appeal to 7 different market niches:

Marriott Marquis

  • For major markets, large hotels, with convention capabilities

Marriott Resorts

  • For vacations and smaller conventions

Marriott Suite

  • Targeted at the upscale suite audience

Marriott

  • Just plain Marriott is aimed at the regular business traveler and meeting planner with small group needs

Residence Inns

  • The only one in the group without Marriott in the name—reaching for executives who need a moderate suite for a number of days

Marriott Courtyard

  • Looking for the upper end of the mid-priced market

Marriott Fairfield

  • The opposite of Courtyard, segmenting to the traveler on a limited budget

This is really identifying, dividing, and conquering the marketplace! Gerald A. Michaelson said it well: "Segment! Or you will be segmented."


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