Dave Trott talks about these statistics a lot.

89% of advertising doesn’t get noticed, 7% gets remembered negatively, and 4% gets remembered positively.

It’ll be a similar split for the broader communications activity of marketing.

Only about 4%(ish) of all marketing is interesting enough to get noticed favourably.

And it’s certainly true of Direct Mail, too.

That’s why, about 10 years ago, I didn’t come up with a Direct Mail recommendation based on sending letters or brochures or logoed-up promotional gifts to prospects.

I proposed that my client sent chickens and eggs instead.

A Very Special Kind of Silly.

Sending chickens and eggs to prospects is a very special kind of silly.

It’s silly – done right.

And ‘silly done right’ gets noticed because it’s distinctive, clever and interesting.

In a world where most marketing – isn’t.

Chickens and Eggs.

Here’s what happened.

So, you’re a decent print company, in a price-sensitive space that also demands speed and reliability.

You have an undifferentiated brand, no desire to invest in brand building right now, but you need great quality new business conversations – pronto.

So I suggest you randomly send 100 people from your carefully researched prospect hit list of 200 people a life-size, stand-uppable, beautifully designed and printed chicken, in a your-brand-coloured envelope.

And you send the other 100 people a life-size, stand-uppable beautifully designed and printed egg, in a your-brand-coloured envelope.

Then, a day or so later, you send the 100 chicken people an egg, and the 100 egg people a chicken.

Then, you get the in-house, outward-bound telesales team that you already have on payroll to, one by one, try to keep a straight face as they call all 200 people and, after politely introducing themselves, ask which came first.

The chicken.

Or the egg.

Then you all giggle.

Then you’ll have brilliant new business conversations.

Then you sell print.

Be Interesting.

Silly can work really well.

But silly isn’t the only way to be interesting, of course.

It’s just one way.

And if you’re going to try it, make sure it’s the right kind of silly.

Because only a very special kind of silly puts you firmly into the 4%, and keeps you out of the 96%.

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