more than “just the execution”
When I worked on the client side, I was at odds with our ad agency when it came to direct response marketing (DRM). They refused to consider, much less concede, that direct response involved knowledge and skills not to be found in the average branding agency, which included theirs.
Finally, they retained a token direct response consultant, assuring me that “direct response affects the execution, not the strategy.” After receiving his input, they resented it, ignored it, and then proceeded with what they would have done in the first place. I rewarded them by leaving them with the branding work while giving the DRM work to a group who knew what they were doing.
Why, for any kind of marketing, anyone would retain a shop that doesn’t understand basic DRM is beyond me, but that’s another subject. Today, since it continues to rear its ugly head, I want to address the claim that “direct response affects the execution, not the concept.”
Nonsense! Solid direct response knowledge is indispensable to a solid direct response concept.
Here are three examples: If you happen to know that demonstrations outsell comedy, you will save your funny stuff for the local comedy club’s open-mike night. If you know that subtlety is largely lost, you’ll concoct a concept that bonks people over the head with an unmistakable message. If you know that being memorable doesn’t ensure sales, you’ll design a concept that moves people to action, not one that encourages them to remember your name for the next time a pollster calls during dinner.