The Depot Dispatch
by Ed Kalaher
July 30th, 2018

Depth and Discipline: These Two Ds Create Grade-A Marketing Initiatives

When you think about marketing, you probably think about what most of us do — the creative, fun stuff.  You probably think about the “purple cow.” Are you familiar with that concept?

The concept of the purple cow comes from Seth Godin in his book of the same name.  It’s illustrated by the story of driving by a herd of cattle, and seeing a purple cow. The purple cow is so different, that you not only remember it, but you want to tell other people.

The creative process is exciting.  Designing an ad, a brochure, running a radio or TV spot, or hanging a sign.

But as important as having a message that stands out is (and it’s really, really important), there are two other things that trump even the most creative of advertising campaigns.  Depth and Discipline.

The Double Ds are absolutely, irrefutably, the most important factors in successful marketing.  I don’t care if your budget is $100 or $100,000 per month.

Depth …

The first “D” is depth. Whatever marketing initiatives you’re considering, or already executing, you must GO DEEP.

Too many companies, and too many people, are dabblers. I have suffered from this disease for most of my life, and I’m actively trying to QUIT.

Don’t be a dabbler!  If you’re committed to an advertising method, a lead-generation campaign, or any marketing initiative, GO DEEP.

How do I “Go Deep”?

Going “deep” means that you take the time to truly educate yourself about the marketing investment you’re about to make. Let me illustrate:

Shallow Joe wants to invest into a new direct mailing campaign that utilizes social media signals to locate potential buyers. Sounds really exciting! And it’s brand new to the market. The sales rep convinces him that the mailings are so targeted, that the return on investment (ROI) is a no-brainer. Double or triple the normal direct mailing return.

Shallow Joe writes the check.

Maximus Von Deep, on the other hand, hears the same sales presentation for this new marketing vehicle, and goes deep.

  1. MVD wants to understand the process. How do social signals identify potential buyers? What information can he supply to make the targeting process even more effective?
  2. MVD calls his corporate office to brainstorm the product. He wants to see if his central support office has any perspective to add, or advice to give.
  3. MVD goes back to the marketing company and asks some smart questions. That prompts an even better rate offer from the company.
  4. MVD writes the check.
  5. MVD makes sure that the creative and offer on his new direct mail piece matches up perfectly with the visual queues and calls to action on his website.
  6. MVD updates and trains his staff (especially inbound phone staff) on the campaign and promo, and makes sure he gives himself the maximum opportunity to track when a lead comes from the new campaign.
  7. MVD sits down once per month and analyzes his data. He makes sure that a decision on the return on investment achieved is backed by data, and lets that analysis provide a pathway for adjusting and improving the campaign.

MVD didn’t just write a check.  He went DEEP.

MVD has an advantage over most all of his competition, which are dabblers.

If you want your advertising dollars to be well spent, take the time to be thorough in your investigation, execution and analysis. Learn everything you can learn about the marketing vehicles you’re hitching your wagon to.

Discipline …

The second “D” is discipline. Whatever marketing initiatives you engage in, you must have the discipline to see them through. You must be committed to a proper and thorough cycle of spend-analyze-adjust.  Let me illustrate:

Shallow Joe gets to the end of his first month with the new direct mailer campaign, and the results are poor. He can only attribute one sale to the campaign.

Shallow Joe cancels the campaign.

Maximus Von Deep, on the other hand, has spent significant time analyzing the impact of his new direct mailer campaign.

  1. MVD only sees one sale attributed to the campaign, in his CRM.
  2. MVD discusses this with his staff and salespeople, to make sure they’re asking the right qualifying questions.
  3. MVD modifies his direct mail creative to include a stronger call to action.
  4. MVD asks if he can send a second piece to the SAME people. Advertiser says yes.
  5. MVD assesses the campaign after the second month and finds that results have improved to “normal” direct mail levels.
  6. MVD also notices that his website traffic has increased.
  7. MVD uses this extra web traffic and starts a retargeting campaign.
  8. MVD understands that he’s on to something. He continues to analyze results, adjust creative and process, and improve the performance of this campaign, and others.
  9. MVD is committed to running this campaign for at least another 90 days.

MVD didn’t bail out when his first month wasn’t “great.” MVD went deep in his analysis, and had the DISCIPLINE to see it through. He is committed to giving this new marketing campaign enough time to incubate.

Depth and Discipline

Having tremendous discipline, without depth, is called throwing bad money after good.

Having tremendous depth, without the discipline to see the process through, is just a waste of your time.

To make any marketing campaign successful, you must have both.  Depth and discipline.

Stop dabbling. Do your research. Become an expert of the marketing vehicles you’ve chosen.  nd commit to a process of analysis-adjustment-execution.

With the right amount of depth and discipline, any marketing campaign can bear fruit.

Ed Kalaher is the president and CEO of Window Depot USA in Canfield, Ohio.

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