As the senior marketer for a global business-to-business firm, I get so many solicitations through direct marketing channels that it's tough for potential vendors to break through the clutter. It's not that I don't care about unsolicited offers -- really I do. It's just that the volume is large and time is short. But, one recent campaign captured my imagination and, then, my attention.
I received an express envelope that contained two pieces: a blue striped conductor's hat and a postcard with one simple message: "It's Time to Take a Ride, Jim." There was a faint image of a train in the background and at the bottom a vanity URL, personalized with my name. That was it -- no brand logo or name. No product or service features. No laundry list of benefits. No incredible claims of productivity improvements or sales gains. No typical call to action. To top it off, the reverse side was blank! I knew it was commercial in purpose, but it was the best teaser I had seen in a long time and I couldn't resist the urge to find out the who and what of it.
To satisfy my curiosity, I figured I'd take a quick peek at the company name and pitch and then get back to work. I turned to my browser, keyed in the URL, and landed on a rich media splash page. Now I had my answer, right? Not quite. Landing page: bold image of the train in a station. Text: "So, Jim, ready to take your trip?" Two floating buttons: "Ride it" and "Drive it." That's
it -- again, no logo, brand, product, features, benefits, etc. I clicked "Drive It." Why not, right? The scene quickly switched to the train cockpit with a cityscape at night blurring by -- a high speed scene of buildings, bridges, tunnels, sharply curving track.
The scene switched again to the outside of the train in a different station. Finally, in the header I noticed the company name, two sentences about the product, and a button simply titled "More." I had come this far, so I clicked the button, which added elements, including a mock computer monitor with rotating product screenshots and a final call to action to view a demo. There was a short form with my name and company pre-filled -- a nice touch. I submitted the form to complete the process and was led to the company's website. A few days later I received a follow-up call from the sales representative.
I enjoyed this campaign. The teaser was irresistible; the integration of offline and online superb; the rich media interesting. Perhaps the best compliment: I immediately walked down to show it to my team as an example of elements we might include in our own future campaigns. That doesn't happen very often.
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About the Author: Jim Wehmann is senior vice president of global marketing for Digital River