Got this in the mail last week from SPSS, advertising their Clementine data-mining product:
If you knew of a single, goal-focused way to give marketing campaigns a 10% to 20% response lift, while reducing costs up to 80% ... increase CRM revenue by 20% while reducing churn by 25%... or eliminate fraud while cutting investigative costs... you'd likely want to implement it to achieve your organization's objectives.
20% lift on 80% less cost?
No way. Not unless the current program (be it direct mail, catalog, email, search, whatever) is miniscule, or is badly broken.
Hype destroys credibility. Avoid it.
An example: in our work, we have many big-percentage improvements case studies with new search management clients coming to our firm. But that's usually because the former party running search (in-house or agency) was doing a poor job. We never trumpet those, because we can't be certain we'll achieve it in every case. We're also more proud what we do right, rather than what someone else was doing wrong.
When someone moves a paid search marketing account over to our firm that is running well -- this seems to occur about 1 in 4 of the cases -- our folks have to work really hard to achieve modest improvements. Those small percentage improvements matter if the program is big (small percents are big money on big budgets), but they're not eye-popping. We always try to evaluate a prospect's search program (deep analysis, under NDA, free) before setting expectations. For programs in good shape, we clearly tell prospects that in advance and sell on service and price. We're not fans of hype, and do all we can to avoid it.
Honest marketing is powerful marketing. I know from experience that SPSS is a great product, worthy of well-deserved realistic praise. This copy detracts from its credibility, and so doesn't do the product justice. As Barry Maher teaches, truth is the ultimate sales tool.