June 27th, 2005 by Bob Bly
Yes, says Steve Cuno, chairman of something called RESPONSE Prospecting and Loyalty Strategies, in an article in Deliver (7/05).
?As a direct marketing, you?re hired to pull a profitable, measurable response, not to build the brand,? says Steve.
Well, at least he?s got that part right.
But then he goes on, ?But if you don?t recognize the impact your work has on the brand, and, perhaps more important, that the brand SHOULD have on your work, you?re being na?ve, and you will lose sales in the long run.?
Sorry, Steve, but that?s where you?re dead wrong.
As a direct response copywriter, your responsibility is one thing and one thing only: to maximize ROI from every promotion you write.
Direct response isn?t a branding tool. People barely remember million-dollar TV campaigns. Trust me that they forget 99.99% of your mail the minute they toss it.
And whenever you subordinate ROI to worrying about ?the impact your work has on the brand? ? or anything else ? you are compromising the ability of your promotion to maximize response.
When I sit down to write a letter, I think of only one thing: what true, ethical, and legal thing can I say that will get my prospect to buy this product?
And not, ?How can I create a good image? or ?How does this build the brand??
I have been doing it that way for 25 years ? with pretty good results.
So I think I?m right and Steve?s all wet.
What?s your opinion?