Direct Marketing Miscues: How to Survive A Catastrophic Campaign (We All Have Them Right?)

There are some truly horrendous marketing disasters – one catalogue marketer who accidentally provided their fulfilment house with the wrong list and mailed a big elaborate expensive mailing to their leads and low frequency purchasers, sending them broke.

There are the odd campaigns sent during a major crisis and they always suffer from a depressed response.

Then there are the ones out of left field that bomb for no apparent reason – they fail to meet campaign objectives, they fail economic/ROI requirements.

Hopefully it hasn’t put you out of the game. If you are taking risks that can end your participation in the game permanently then you can’t be taking the risks that you are. If you are out of the game, your chance of winning is precisely ZERO. A true catastrophe

Direct Marketing Catastrophe Survival Step One: Deal with the emotional component! Setbacks, failures and unmitigated disasters are going to cause most of us mere mortals a bit of a struggle. When your emotions are high you tend to get stressed and most people can’t think clearly enough to solve their problems while they are stressed. They just try and do more of the same but with more intent.

So the first step is to get through the emotional component of your response as quickly as possible. Personally I find relaxation exercises and also exercise really helpful to get through this.

Direct Marketing Catastrophe Survival Step Two: Time To Figure Out What Next. The more in control you are emotionally the more you can generate options for what’s next. That is why this is step 2 and not step 1. Rethink your goals – especially if your goals are more general. If your goal was to sell 2,000 units of Product XYZ – you are really saying you want 2000 times XYZ product price e.g. $197. $394,000 in gross revenue.

There might only be one or two ways to sell 2,000 units of XYZ product. You might however be able to make your $394,000 in a whole bunch of different ways. New products, sales of a combination of existing products, etc. So you can do all sorts of things.

Personally I’ve found that it is far easier to move forward when I have a big list of ideas that I can cull down to a few high probability, high reward activities.

Direct Marketing Catastrophe Survival Step Three: Refocus and move forward. Make a plan and get going. I used to ride horses and the saying was “unless you need to go to hospital, get back on the horse before you finish crying.” The easiest way to kill a business is through inaction. So keep moving and know that if you keep your winners and throw away your losers, it doesn’t take long to have a really solid business.

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