Note-worthy Communication

February 25, 2009
Kudos, Mr. Haan, you value the "small" things

Kudos, Mr. Haan, you value the "small" things

Bear with me here as I recount a dialogue that will reveal a marketing moral. It’s a conversation I had with my dad the other night:

Dad: “So, I bought a belt the other day.”

Me: “Yeah, so … I mean, could you have said anything more mundane?”

Dad: “Well, it’s brown and leather and I got it at Cole Haan.”

Me: “Guess what? I bought a new brand of dental floss the other day, too. Big whoop.”

Dad: “Yeah, but look at this letter I got in the mail today.”

Me: “I know what that is. Even when I give Macy’s a fake address they still find a way to send me that direct mail rewards program garbage.”

Dad: “No, this is different — it was an actual letter, read it.”

Me (opening letter, reading it with cynicism): “Wow, this guy actually wrote you a hand-written note saying that he enjoyed helping you find a belt and that he hopes that you are ‘rocking it’ right now?”

Dad: “Yeah, I figured because you work in consumer relationships that you might be interested, or do you actually work at the racetrack? Because that’s what I thought originally.”

Me: “Good point. I guess traditional forms of communication like writing letters can still be effective if companies do their homework on who they’re sending the note to.”

Dad: “What are you saying, I’m a dinosaur? I am on Facebook, you know.”

Me: “No, I’m not saying that, although when I said something about news on Digg the other day, you did make a hippie, ‘I can dig it’ comment.”

Dad: “Smartass.”

Me: “No, what this does is prove that little things like notes can almost be more effective than bus stop or banner ads, not to mention that it basically costs them nothing. Are you sure this wasn’t a Mom and Pop shop and not a fairly big retailer like Cole Haan?”

Dad: “Yes, I’m sure and I know I’ll go back there the next time I need some new socks because of this letter.”

Me (looking at my belt and noticing the extra holes I made with a mini-corkscrew): “You know, now that I think of it, maybe I could use a new belt. Let’s see if they tweet me about it, then I’ll really be impressed.”