Direct response guys by far know more about what works in
marketing than anyone else, because we generate tangible results
on every promotion. And these results are measured.
Yet more and more marketers are bypassing direct response today
in favor of what is hot and trendy — specifically branding,
content marketing, digital marketing, and social media.
For instance, my friend BC, a veteran direct marketing pro,
recently wrote me an e-mail. He says:
“I’ve had so many clients insist on dropping what they call
‘traditional’ media for digital and social media, only to have a
harsh awakening as their response plummets.
“One such client is a small community college who was struggling
during the recession. They were down to just under 7,000
students and state funding was cut.
“Teaching jobs were on the line. We launched a campaign with
traditional media with the right message. And in just 2
enrollment periods — spring and fall of the same year — we
raised enrollment to just over 11,000 students … an increase of
“We sustained that number and even moved it up a notch or two for
3 years. Then the college’s Marketing Committee got comfortable
and bored, fired us, and hired a digital/social media agency.
“The new media agency produced disastrous results. Enrollment
went from just over 11,000 students down to 6,500 students in 2
enrollment cycles. The last numbers I learned of were below 4,500
“Now the college doesn’t have an ad budget, and most of the
Marketing Committee, who were also professors and instructors,
have been let go due to lack of funds.
“The college’s Marketing Director was moved from his office suite
in the main building to an office on a remote side of the campus.
“This is why I always tell clients to ease into ‘new media’
slowly — and test, test, and test!”
I urge you to consider BC’s story and advice carefully. He is a
top pro and he knows what he is talking about.
In my view, this myopic college Marketing Director, who had BC’s
vast expertise as his disposal, starved to death with a loaf of
bread under each arm.