2006 has been an uninspiring year for traditional Direct Response. Very few innovative strategies, creative or media have been unveiled. Which is why I'm awarding the 2006 Direct Marketer os the Year Award to amazon.com. This company simply executes true direct response marketing better than most traditional marketers. Here's why they've earned the award:
2. The data is used instantly, and recurringly. One of the great promises of Direct Response is the wealth of information that can be used to fine-tune offers, timing and creative. This fresh data however, is rarely used quickly enough before it stale-dates. Amazon implements the learning immediately, and then uses it in short, focussed e-mail campaigns: e.g. "Dear Amazon.com Customer, we've noticed that customers who have expressed interest in Envisioning Information by Edward R. Tufte have also ordered Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites by Peter Morville. For this reason, you might like to know that Peter Morville's Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites is now available. You can order your copy for just $26.39 ($13.60 off the list price) by following the link below." I've bolded the magic phrases showing this process in action. The result is that truly relevant information is delivered directly to me in a relevant medium, with a value message and quick link to a one click purchase.
3. Every interaction reinforces the online advantage. Why buy online? Amazon chips away at the old school benefits of a bricks & mortar bookstore. The community benefits of product recommendations, the suggested bundling for greater savings, the 'search inside' feature enabling product previewing...all that's missing is the instant delivery.
Aside from these three core strategies, they have also unleashed a flurry of innovative services and technologies: plogs, registries, The Mechanical Turk, Elastic Compute Cloud, Amazon Unbox, Amazon Films, Amazon Fishbowl (with Bill Maher), Amazon Connect and a few other intriguing extensions.