September 12, 2008

Micro-Channel Consultant Success Stories

This image is of the Libey Economic Outlook. Don Libey is a multichannel direct marketing consultant. Once a month, he mails a newsletter filled with topics and parables relevant to the catalog-based direct marketer. When this document arrives in the mail, my first priority is to set down what I am working on, and read the publication.

Lenser marketing also has an e-mail marketing newsletter, though I tend to read the newslette
r online. The online newsletter doesn't allow comments, though honestly, it doesn't need to facilitate a conversation.

The Rimm-Kaufman group hosts a blog. I almost never visit their website, though I am an avid reader of their information when it arrives via Google Reader. Their articles are among the content I most appreciate receiving. The blog does accept comments, allowing for a conversation to happen.

John Hagel is lucky to publish a handful of articles each year on his blog, but when he publishes them, they are must reads. I also read his articles via RSS Feed.

The next image is from Amy Africa's E-mail newsletter, called "Thinking Inside The Box". This newsletter has stories and is full of best practices to help struggling marketers improve performance. You can subscribe to her monthly newsletter here.

What's the point of all of this? Each example represents a specific use of a micro-channel, a preferred method for these folks to communicate with their audience.

Sometimes we're led to believe we have to do everything in order to be successful. We have to do direct mail, and e-mail, and have a website, and host a blog, and participate in social media.

Maybe we're better off focusing on fully capitalizing on a fusion of micro-channels that are appropriate for the audience we want to speak to? None of these folks are doing everything --- instead, they are specializing (and, by consequence, excelling) in specific micro-channels.

Increasingly, we have an opportunity to be excellent at one or two things, rather than being good across multiple channels. We have a chance to stand for something.


  1. No question about it: Alan Rimm-Kaufman and Don Libey have incredibly valuable views on multichannel ecommerce. (My IQ is lost in the *rounding* of Alan's IQ!) John Hagel is a very gifted author, and I look forward to reading Amy Africa's newsletter. I have heard great things about her thought-leadership.

    Thanks so much for sharing. As a big fan of your blog, it's nice to know who influences you.

    Harry Joiner

  2. To me, it is good that these folks specialize on one form of communication ... and that form of communication is different for each. This provides a valuable comparison for my clients, folks who are being told by many that they must do everything well.

  3. Anonymous6:13 AM

    Kevin and Harry:

    I am humbled by your kind comments. I chose way back in 1990 when I began my newsletter to use a printed, 8 1/2 x 11 inch format mailed in a big envelope to senior executives consisting of about 15-20 pages of dense commentary. That was the channel I found that worked for my style and my content.

    Over the last 18 years, many recipients have made comments like the following:

    "I always put your newsletter aside and take it home for the week-end. I sit down and quietly read and think. It is the only communication that causes me to do that."

    I think that is why my micro-channel works, at least it is what my readers have told me all these years.

    I tried a blog and they all told me it wasn't "Libey." I tried an email newsletter and they all told me that wasn't "Libey" either. I think you have to do what it is they want you to be. The only thing that really matters, however, is the quality of the thought and content . . . like Kevin's blog and books.

    Best regards

    Don Libey


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I See Dead People

From LinkedIn, where I wrote this on Sunday: