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Make things personal

1st October 2012

3-minutes read

The key to successful direct marketing is to fully understand what your potential customer wants. Get it right and the results will speak for themselves.

I’m forever being sent mailers, flyers and brochures advertising all manner of things. And it’s usually purely a numbers game. Bang out 50,000 pieces of direct marketing and (if you’re lucky) you might just get a response from 2% of your mailing list, and from there, maybe half of those responses lead to a sale. This is assuming of course, that the message and product fits with the target audience.

But for certain business models, targeted marketing has proven to be a much more fruitful exercise than simply adopting the classic ‘numbers’ game. A targeted message gives you much more scope to really tap into to your potential customers. And the key to a successful targeted approach is to get creative, understand your customer and make things really personal. What makes them tick? What do they value? What problems to they face? What will stop them in their tracks? Get it right and it’s a brilliant opportunity to create a buzz, and that’s exactly what UK based printer Dayfold did.

Dayfold really hit the jackpot when they created their ‘Little Black Book’ - a printed swatch guide showing the results of a range of blacks printed on to various paper stocks. The item was very specific and aimed exclusively at graphic designers who know only too well that there is no such thing as a single colour ‘black’. Warm blacks, cool blacks, solid blacks etc the list is endless. So it’s vital to us to get this detail correct when things go to print. 

Dayfold understood exactly what their target audience would embrace. So when word spread around the graphic design industry, the ‘Little Black Book’ became very hot property indeed. So much so that these books were even being sold on Ebay for a while. 

Imagine that, a promotional item that potential clients are queueing round the block to get their hands on! 

Apart from being a great idea in the first place, it was the way the information was presented that made all the difference. It’s unlikely that printing tiny swatches onto an single A4 sheet would have attracted anyone’s attention. But by repackaging this information into this cracking little swatch book, they created something of real value. 

Promotional giveaways don’t always have to be mouse mats or mugs, and by thinking creatively it’s not difficult to see how a similar approach could be applied to any business in any discipline. Once you really understand your potential customers, then the creative marketing opportunities are endless. 

My thanks to Dayfold for support with this article, and if you are a graphic designer and would like your very own copy of ‘The Little Black Book’ get in touch with Aubrey at Dayfold.

Mark Wilde

Mark Wilde

Creative Director

Mark Wilde

About the author

This article was written in October 2012 by Mark Wilde, Creative Director at Rubiqa.

Having worked in the design industry since 2000, Mark understands that creativity is as much about achieving tangible business results as it is about generating original creative ideas. His work always has a strong commercial focus and in the years of being a Creative Director at Rubiqa, he knows how to achieve the best results from our clients' investments. Mark's expertise crosses many disciplines including digital, brand development, editorial, advertising, and packaging design. Away from work, he's interested in electronic music production, travelling and learning piano.

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