Thinking Outside the Box with a DR Program

By: Mary Ann Bautista

This may come easier to me than some, but I’m kind of a “never say never” type of person. I guess that I just got lucky with the optimism gene. So, when I get a “NO” to something I am proposing, I usually take a pause, to consider the rationale of the person delivering the “NO,” and then I always try to think of another way to make my idea work.

Recently a client decided to discontinue a media program that we had put together. We tested the concept with several efforts, optimizing the program with each and every step as we gained more data and applied those learnings. But the client wasn’t seeing the long-term potential in the program that we saw. They had run out of patience with the idea and didn’t think it would ever drive significant volume and just wanted us to abandon it.

My team and I felt differently. We believed that there was a way to make this media program achieve the client’s KPI’s and potentially even drive large volumes of orders from a previously untouched pocket of consumers!

We had several ideas for how to further optimize the program, including lowering costs, using filters to weed out poorer quality leads, and adding questions to drive a more interested consumer to the offer. Plus, we had committed vendor partners, who are experts in their practices. They understood the client’s business, their goals for the program, and were offering great suggestions and advice.

We really wanted to make this work and so we got creative and started thinking outside of the box. And what that led us to was to put our money where our mouths are! We offered to guarantee the client that we would hit an agreed upon KPI by adjusting our fee. We were effectively putting our time and compensation on the line!

Was it risky? A little. But we were confident! We did the research, ran the numbers and we believed! If our hunch was right, we’d make more money than we would have with a traditional media markup, but if it didn’t work, we’d make less, or maybe even lose money!

The jury is still out on the risk, but even if this doesn’t work, we’ll never regret trying. We’ll know for sure one way or the other and will be leaving this experience without a single doubt. Not to mention, all the experience with this program and media that we can use in the future for other clients!

In my experience having a “never say never” attitude has led to more wins than losses. Of course, I only bet with what I can afford to lose, but I’d encourage you to reconsider your “Nos.” Is there a way that your idea could work if you peek just outside of the box, you’re in?

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