Attended a really interesting conference on 1 October run by The Cranfield Trust and The Fore about the value of fully understanding how you evaluate a campaign or new product. It's about understanding the outputs (the products and services), the outcomes (the changes, learnings and effects they have) and the impact (the longer term effects of a project on the outputs) from the start.

At concept stage, it is really valuable to use a Force Field Analysis Model - on one side of the aim/product concept recording the forces for decision and on the other the forces against, simply scoring these on a grade intensity of 1-5 can often flag questions around development or impact. Involve as many people as possible - creatives, finance, prospective customers, loyal existing customers, diverse groups of the community.

Quite often clients have a great idea for a new product or service but don't ask "Why?" enough so they may know its USP's, its price point, positioning etc. but don't drill down into fully understanding the drivers that would make people buy their product or service. Soft data and evaluation is AS important as market share or sales growth to really fulfil a product or services potential. Telling a story gives humans the ability to consider how they would apply a product or service within their own lives.

As Sally at Cranfield Trust said "Metrics may open the door, a story welcomes you in and invites you to stay."

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As someone who worked in Direct Marketing during the boom years of the 90's and a self-confessed data segmentation nerd, I have been watching the rising trend for businesses and charities to revert to quality, targeted direct mail with delight. It is one of the reasons I celebrate GDPR coming into effect, it has made us all accountable and transparent about who we want to hear from and, more critically, who can communicate with us. Truth is, we like getting mail.... if it's personal, well put together and has a message that speaks to our values or ideals. Hit a doormat on the right day and some campaigns are seeing response rates around 5% (e-mail campaigns average around 0.5% - 0.8%).

Thinking about the most effective channel to your target audience is critical and with predictions from estimating that by the end of 2019, 30% of all Internet users will use ad blockers, all of a sudden old school channels don't seem such a bad idea.

The trick is in the conversion .... how to take that 5% response rate and turn it into income... but that is another story where product, price, promotion and place all play their part ...

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  • Sarah Raine

Interesting read - recommend this article on ways to support charities this Christmas showing some of the more alternative gifts you can give that can make a real difference and I was particularly pleased to see how much of every £1 goes directly to the cause. It looks like the administration and fundraising costs have been scaled back and more of your buck goes where it's needed most. Happy ethical Christmas shopping to you all! I am not sending many Christmas cards this year, instead donating to two local community projects #nourishcommunityfoodbank and#meetingneed

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