Winning in the Knowledge Era
The Information Age is upon us -- that is, if you agree with the computer whiz kids who tell us so.
We do, in fact, have more options from which to select. A vast array of information is dumped on our society daily. On average, each day brings 29 new products and 1,600 advertising, marketing, public relations, and sales promotion messages.
All this is compounded by the fact that the 500 most-used words in English have more than 13,000 meanings! And the list of meanings is growing.
What does all this mean? It means we have an overload. What does it all mean to direct marketers especially those writing copy and designing direct mail packages, response ads and fulfillment brochures? It means we have to use all this information carefully if we're to enjoy profitability in the marketplace. It means we have to know the most creative way to use the information in our databases.
Databases? The word is as misunderstood inside the direct marketing industry as the phrase "direct marketing" is outside. What do databases have to do with the creative process? Everything.
I have a philosophy about all this. It is simply that we're drowning in information. We have SO much of it that we can't begin to know what to do with it all.
I firmly believe we are not in the Information Age instead, we're in the "Knowledge Era".
Information is not the key. Knowledge is. What really moves the marketplace is knowledge or the lack of it. Positive knowledge, knowledge that educates, helps move a product to the user. Lack of knowledge, or a negative approach, prevents action and, in fact, reduces sales.
What is the creative use of knowledge? It is database marketing! And my definition for database marketing is that it is gathering, saving and using the maximum amount of useful knowledge about your customers and prospects.
"Using" is the key word in this definition. If you don't use it, why gather and store it?
When direct marketers begin to plan the creative process, the primary element is the audience. To whom is this message directed? The audience! This clearly means that if we have a valuable collection of knowledge available to us, knowledge about our prospects and customers, our message is much more likely to be on target.
We are living in a global society, a society that only will be beneficial to all mankind when we use the knowledge available to us. We in direct marketing have a tremendous opportunity to be the leaders in this arena. We have been gathering, saving and using knowledge for decades. Let's continue to be leaders and march into the 21st century as a knowledgeable industry. We do live in the Knowledge Era.
by ROCKINGHAM*JUTKINS*marketing, all rights reserved.