I love this title from Target Marketing Magazine: “12 Social Media Questions for a Real Direct Marketer”


Note from Jim Gilbert: Two weeks ago I did a webinar, “The 9 Immutable Laws of Social Media Marketing”, for Target Marketing Magazine for a “packed house”.  We had over 85 questions submitted during the webinar so we decided to turn the responses into a Target Marketing Article.  Here are a few of the questions, the answers can be found here.

1. How do you measure social media ROI?

2. We’re just launching a blog; what’s the best way to solicit feedback/interaction?

3. On social networks, we have a few really engaged customers who respond to posts, but overall most people are not engaged. How can we fix that?

View the additional 9 questions and their answers on the Target Marketing Website  here.

BTW, you can still see a replay of the webinar here.

Website Goal? 6 Tips for ALL Ecommerce Companies to Capture EVERY Visitor to Your Website…


One of the universal truths I see is a lack of understanding by many marketers, from newbie to experienced, of what their website is really for. I know, I know, marketers always say the right thing: It’s about conversion. When I look at their website and ask them what their site conversion rate is, I hear them proudly state, “I convert 2 percent, look how good I’m doing!” (And of course some marketers don’t even know what their site conversion rate is.)

Here’s a better goal: Click here to see the full article on Retail Online Integration Magazine’s site.

Want more info on Gilbert Direct Marketing, including a FREE website review?  Use the form below…

Your company’s product guarantee policy: reducing the barriers to purchasing


Some years ago I worked for a clothing cataloger that offered a no strings attached, lifetime money back guarantee.  Occasionally we received a tattered well used article of clothing back 2-3 years later, but mostly the guarantee worked for us.  We were pioneering organic fiber fashion and as a company wanted to do everything we could in order to reduce the risk that could have a negative effect on a purchasing decision.

A good solid guarantee is an important part of the selling process.  It tells the consumer that you stand behind your products and you are truly focused on your customers needs.  Showing your guarantee prominently on your website and your catalogs makes good sense, and in my opinion should be heavily promoted as part of your offer.

Also in my opinion, and I cannot stress this enough in the age of social media, is for management to offer the best possible guarantee they can, and then back it unconditionally.

Take a look at your company’s warrantee.  Is it clear, simple and to the point?  If not then simplify it.  Make it so easy even a child can understand it.  Why?  The internet and social media are the great equalizers and simple things like upsetting a customer with a hard to understand guarantee, will wind up being tweeted, Yelped and status updated.

Why Direct Marketers Hate Beer Commercials and Branding


I’m going to take some heat for this next statement: I’m not a big football fan. OK, I said it!

I grew up playing and watching hockey, and never really “got” football.

But usually I love the Super Bowl. Actually, I should say that I usually love the Super Bowl’s commercials. They’re usually clever, funny and make my annual trip to my friend’s Super Bowl party much better.

But I’m not really sure what happened this year. Ninety percent of the commercials were just plain stupid, other than Brett Favre’s spot for Hyundai, Volkswagen’s punch buggy ad and the Letterman/Oprah/Leno commercial for CBS’ “Late Show.” And I loved the sheer perfection of Google’s spot. It told a story and made you feel it.

Seeing Betty White and Abe Vigoda playing football was funny, but I have no idea the following morning what was being sold in the ad. All in all, this year’s trend seemed to be men in underwear and condescending beer spots.

If You Build it (Brand it), Will They Come?

I’ve also never been a big branding guy. I’ve always believed that branding is something you do while you’re stimulating orders and leads via direct marketing. To me, making someone laugh while watching a commercial doesn’t exactly cause new customer acquisition. You do that with great offers, calls to action, superior guarantees and, of course, products that measure up to and exceed expectations.

Direct marketing is immediate, purposeful, in your face and compels you to take action. It’s not about creating a funny TV spot and the eventual purchase of a product based on message recall. Direct marketing is about measurability.

And while I admit that general branding agencies are getting better at using direct marketing principles, it’s not enough. Just slapping a URL on a TV commercial doesn’t make it direct marketing.

Take Names and Kick Butt … A Prescription for Commercial AdAgencies

Here are four ways that I would’ve rewritten the scripts of all the commercials I saw (and a select few actually did this):

1. Drive people online for more info (or to a Chevy Chase video to continue the brand interaction.  Remember time interacting with a brand means more brand loyalty).

2. Get prospects to raise their hands and take action — i.e., identify themselves as wanting to continue interacting with your brand.

3. Build a database of these prospects, and do something creative or make them an offer, etc.

4. Start a contest to drive prospects to your Facebook page or your blog.

In short, don’t just create ads for a later response (you hope) and/or message retention and brand recall. If you build it, they won’t necessarily come … or even remember. Create commercials that build brand engagement and stimulate action.

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