It is always important to practice what you preach, especially when it comes to marketing. A fundamental example of this is a direct marketing piece I created and sent out this past month.

The piece was basically a box designed to hold a cell phone with my telephone number programmed into it, as well as some written information about Euro RSCG Discovery. Recipients were encouraged to call me to discuss Discovery’s marketing and business solutions first and read the material second.

Rather than simply reading about our company, this piece got people to behave the way we wanted, right from the start. They engaged in a conversation about it, which provided a deeper, more relevant perspective of who we are. And it worked – we had a 70% response rate!

Many companies send out direct mail and expect people to read and believe everything they have to say about a product or service. At the end of the communication, recipients are urged to call for additional information. However, it typically does not work that way. Many times, recipients do not read the material and do not come away with a better understanding of the company’s offerings. Because it is a passive, one-sided communication, it is not nearly as effective as getting people to act first.

Encouraging a behavior first allowed me to connect with prospects in a different way. After the call, these people then went back and reviewed the written materials in the package and fully understood our value proposition. Our conversation made the content even more personal and relevant.

The old model of message first and behavior last is no longer effective. It is incredibly important to engage your customers and encourage them to behave first. That is the best way to serve your business.

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