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Commonsense Direct Marketing

By Drayton Bird

*A Book Review*

by Michael C. Gray

© 2019 by Michael C. Gray

This is a direct marketing classic that you might never have heard of.

Drayton Bird was the vice chairman and creative director at Ogilvy & Mather Direct, the world's largest direct marketing agency. (David Ogilvy used to call Ogilvy & Mather Direct his secret weapon.) Later Drayton Bird was a partner of Trenear-Harvey, Bird and Watson, the largest direct marketing agency in the UK and then he formed his own consulting firm, Drayton Bird Direct.

Commonsense Direct Marketing is a compilation of many of the lessons that he learned about direct marketing from his many years of in-the-trenches experience.

At the time he wrote the book in the 1980s, the internet was in its infancy, so the reader should translate many of the ideas to apply them to marketing on the internet.

Unlike general advertising, which is concerned with establishing an image, direct marketing is concerned with lead generation to create lists of customers and prospects to promote to and with making sales that can be tracked to the promotional piece. In its infancy, direct marketing was the mail order industry from patent medicines to the Sears catalogue. The internet has become a direct marketing machine and most major corporations now have direct marketing web sites designed to attract customers and sell products and services.

Drayton Bird says that you can sell almost anything using direct marketing.

The focus of communications and research should always be the customer. By identifying customers, you can craft messages that appeal to them individually or as members of a defined group.

Commonsense Direct Marketing includes most aspects of direct marketing, including positioning your product or service, how to conduct research, planning marketing campaigns, keeping good records, caring for your own lists of customers and prospects, selecting and testing mailing lists, alternative media selection, creating a marketing package that is likely to succeed, how to test a marketing package and evaluate the results, how to choose an agency, and how to maintain client - agency relationships.

The book includes a valuable chapter of checklists to sanity check marketing packages and campaigns.

Since Drayton Bird is British, this book has a certain charm because the phrasing and vocabulary are U.K. English. Americans will have to do some mental translating.

Since all business persons need to promote their businesses and should want to find out if their marketing is profitable, they should find Commonsense Direct Marketing to be a valuable book to study and refer to.

Buy it on Amazon: Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing.

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