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The Unsinkable Iceberg Theory

Titanic

Developing a successful direct marketing campaign is a little like an iceberg.

You know … A mythic disaster. Elegant dinner parties. A sweeping but ill-fated love story. Leo and Kate standing in the bow of the ship. Celine Dion singing "My heart will go on."

Actually, we're not talking about that iceberg.

We're talking about the metaphor iceberg, a way to think about what goes into every campaign. How much thinking needs to take place before your campaign is ready to be seen.

Picture an iceberg.

The part of the iceberg that's above the water is the creative execution. Pretty pictures, witty words. The medium, the format, the messaging, the offer, the response mechanism, art direction, copywriting, design and layout, production. The top of the iceberg is all that you can see if you're on a boat. (Unless, it's a certain so-called "unsinkable" boat in 1912. Sorry.)

But, if you remember the movie (or history, for that matter), you'll recall that the ship didn't collide with the part of the iceberg that was visible above the waves. The Titanic actually ran into and alongside the much larger part of the iceberg, that lay below the surface.

For a marketing campaign, that greater mass of activity (that the prospective customer doesn't really see if you've done your job) includes examining prior campaign results, conducting audience research, accessing and absorbing data input and information, developing a strategic marketing plan, identifying goals and objectives, creative brainstorming, and leveraging production expertise and technology.


Plus there's hard work, teamwork and collaboration.


Doing all that homework, discovery and uncover, creative thinking, critical thinking, and sweat equity will make all the difference for your campaign. It can be an unmitigated marketing disaster. Or, it can be a runaway, record-breaking, blockbuster success story.

Waitaminute. Maybe we are talking about that movie after all.

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