Tag Archives: Building Relationships

The Johnson & Wales Univ. Challenge 2

The Johnson & Wales Univ. Challenge 2

While JWU Challenge Part 1 works on a jewelry campaign, another group of students will be working on a program for one of our clients, a Retirement Seminar company that helps people prepare to transition their lives from busy and white-collar driven to an ideal retirement lifestyle.

The company will run their first seminar in February, in Miami.

Before then, the students’ challenge is to create a marketing plan involving social media and mobile marketing to generate reservations. Out of state people are part of the target audience; fortunately convincing people up north to visit Miami in February isn’t all that hard.

The general idea is that students will begin building relationships with prospects while guiding them to the client’s free downloadable book, then through a series of intermediary products, and, finally, to the seminar.

By the end of 10 weeks the students will be judged on their final presentations. They will have to share the results of their efforts and the progress they have made with their programs. This will be fun: college students marketing to geezers.

Let’s consider direct mail, the workhorse, of direct marketing.

Let’s consider direct mail, the workhorse, of direct marketing.


Many years ago, the Chairman of Ford of Canada called my agency in to his office for help. He needed to have more women in Canada buy their cars. They were losing market share to General Motors (who actually knew how to train their salespeople to talk to women in the showrooms).

We developed a curriculum approach to building relationships with the women. It began with a survey, and a nice letter from the chairman asking them to help him to do a better job.

It was signed in blue ink by the Chairman(of course it was printed), but it still looked authentic.

Then he gave them an offer of a book, Car and Truck Buying Made Easy…after they helped him out with the survey.

All of the names and answers to three questions were databased.

If they were going to buy a car in the next three months, we sent them a $200. gift certificate to come to the dealership near them, make the best deal, and then whip out this special certificate for additional savings. The other groups were handled differently, and all groups got a newsletter to “continue the relationship” with them.

Now, they call these kinds of programs “trigger mailings”. If I do this, then you mail me that offer.


I’m just wondering why more companies don’t do that. They have triggers on line, like offers that come popping up, when you abandon the shopping cart. They have trigger pop-ups when you are about to pay, and then there’s one more offer.

Why aren’t more companies doing this in the mail? In fact, why don’t they write to me, when I defect?

For instance, about 3 months ago, I stopped using my Mastercard to get American Airlines points. Why? Because I realized I don’t fly that much on AA, and I’d rather get some of the exciting gifts they offer on American Express Membership Rewards.

Maybe you should consider some small tests, with trigger mailings, and follow-up. Might work wonders for you.