On my way to the record store this morning to pick up a few pieces of vinyl for my record player, I started thinking about how things go around and come back into fashion and that made me consider the role of analogue new business in a digital age. For the past few years we have been, together with pretty much every other new business agency we hear of, been espousing the virtues of marketing automation, email marketing, reverse IP website tracking, social media integration and pretty much every other kind of technological advancement known to mankind. It’s great – it CAN really help. But there is a BUT (isn’t there always?)
For most agencies, the need to create great content for their clients is seen as being a no-brainer, it is what they do. And it isn’t THAT much different from what they have always done, its just the name that has changed really.
For themselves, however, it can be a little trickier and this is, I think, the reason why (and why we market ourselves differently from the way we market our clients). Most of the decision makers agencies want to speak with and engage with are CMO level and in charge of multi-million dollar marketing budgets. Despite what you may have heard to the contrary, they are NOT terribly responsive to email because they are deluged by the stuff. They don’t really have the time nor the inclination to connect with strangers on social media platforms. Their IT departments have installed ad-blocking software and disabled the automatic installation of cookies, so tracking and reverse IP don’t work terribly well.
All of this means that the tools that work really well when targeting consumers or the owners of SME’s (which is what most agencies are, which is why these tools work well for us but not as well for our clients) don’t gain the same levels of traction when agencies use them to target their prospects. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying they don’t work at all, just not as well as when targeting B2C or SME’s.
Which brings me on to the role of analogue; dead trees; paper; snail mail. And a telephone call to follow up.
We have been working for a good sized strategy studio targeting the CMOs of FTSE 100 companies companies and it was a hard slog. So we decided to WRITE THEM A LETTER (shock horror!) No gimmicks, no glossy brochure, no request to visit a special site and enter their unique password. Just a signed letter. We sent out twenty-five and got two responses asking for a meeting to discover more. When we followed the others up, the response from both the PAs and CMOs was equally good. We got a further three meetings. So five meetings from twenty-five letters.