Monday, 22 June 2009

Digital as a Platform, Direct as a Methodology, Data as an Obsession

I borrowed the title of this post from a M&C Saatchi agency in Australia called Mark (seems fair since they borrowed my name). Today is Lester Wunderman's 89th birthday. I had the privilege of working with Lester for many years and learned much. He still goes into the office every day, sharing his blend of wisdom and magic that helped him create an industry. The 19 Things that all Direct Marketers know is still as crisp, relevant and insightful in this age of channel multiplication, social media and mobile as it was the day it was written over a decade ago.
  1. Direct Marketing Is a Strategy, Not a Tactic
  2. The Consumer, Not the Product, Must Be the Hero
  3. Communicate with Each Customer or Prospect as an Audience of One
  4. Answer the Question “Why Should I?”
  5. Advertising Must Change Behavior, Not Just Attitudes
  6. The Next Step: Profitable Advertising
  7. Build the “Brand Experience”
  8. Create Relationships
  9. Know and Invest in Each Customer’s Lifetime Value
  10. “Suspects” Are Not Prospects
  11. Media Is a Contact Strategy
  12. Be Accessible to Your Customers
  13. Encourage Interactive Dialogues
  14. Learn the Missing “When?”
  15. Create an Advertising Curriculum That Teaches as it Sells
  16. Acquire Customers with the Intention to Loyalize Them
  17. Loyalty Is A Continuity Program
  18. Your Share of Loyal Customers, Not Your Share of Market Creates Profits
  19. You Are What You Know

In talking about Lester Wunderman's approach, Malcolm Gladwell said: "All these strategies amount to a marketing system of extraordinary sensitivity....sophisticated ways of listening, of overcoming the problems of distance and distortion which so handicap other forms of persuasion."

I am now at Rosetta, an interactive marketing agency; were Lester to walk in here today he would instantly recognise a company built on and building upon his vision. The platforms may be different, the decisioning more rapid but the absolute focus on more relevant, personal and impactful marketing is the same.

Happy birthday Mr. Wunderman.

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