Back in May, I wrote a post quoting Denny Hatch about how branding and direct marketing don’t mix. Here, Dave Dumanis, guest blogger and CDI Creative Director, offers his thoughts on how to make direct and branding work together:
“In my experience, the relationship between direct response advertising and branding or image advertising is simple: if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. DR and branding should work together, to synergistically benefit both arms of your marketing plan.
Unfortunately, many companies seem to think that a knowledge of DR best practices—which is certainly critical—means that they can turn their noses up at branding.
This situation is exacerbated by the frequent deployment of DR by companies that can’t afford or haven’t yet thought about branding tools like style guides, logo usage, or brandwide copy tonality.
The end result is a creative product that appears to follow the “letter” of DR best practices, yet may generate an indifferent response—and certainly does nothing for your overall messaging or positioning.
Some symptoms of this syndrome include:
* Logo abuse (making it too big or too frequent, altering it, etc.)
* Exclamation point and all-caps abuse (“NOW! LIMITED TIME!!!”)—not to put a moratorium on either, but a little goes a long way
* Inappropriate misuse or exaggeration of urgency (“Order this product now—or let hackers have their way with your system!”)
* Humorlessness, heavy-handedness, lack of wit, and other signs of best practices being followed in a highly rote way
If your DR materials show any of these symptoms, to the degree that they’re inconsistent with your branding strategy, the brand will suffer—and so may your response.
Obviously, you don’t want to employ wit or a calm, confident tonality if that’s not part of your brand. But to the degree that your brand is developed, your DR campaigns should reflect who you genuinely are as a company—not what you may think DR looks like as a genre.”
Thanks Dave! Comments anyone?