My Best Promotion
Direct mail is one of the more lauded promotional techniques, yet it's also one that isn't always easy to master. Barry Roberts, CAS, sales executive for Proforma Executive Business Services and motivational business coach at BarryRoberts.com, shared a great example of a direct mail campaign that was not only a big success, but also educational on how to impress buyers and compete against a large number of other vendors.
A major airline offered Roberts a 20,000-piece direct mail campaign intended to reach travel agents around the country, his job being to pick an item to pair with the mailer. The airline was also listening to pitches from several of his competitors, putting Roberts into a position where he had to beat his competitors' best ideas to earn the sale.
"The first thing I did was I left my office and walked around Manhattan, popping in and out of travel agencies (this was years and years ago, they were a lot more popular then they are today)" said Roberts. "I was interested to see not what they were using around their desks, but to see if I could determine something they were not using."
After his investigations, Roberts realized that the travel agents spent a lot of time on the phone, so he settled on a classic phone shoulder rest to ease the agents' pain of always pinching the phone between their ear and shoulder. "Again this ways years ago, before headsets. These were all traditional phones," said Roberts.
"I also was aware that they were going to get ideas from some of my competitors," he said. "I didn't know who they were, but I respected them enough to realize that they might have thought of the telephone shoulder rest also, so why buy it from me?"