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Design Agency Mailer Goes Hi-Tech

March 6, 2001

Technology design agency Rogue Wave will target Fortune 500 companies and the top 10 to 12 advertising agencies in the country with its first direct mail campaign this month.

The business-to-business campaign, which will tout Rogue Wave's M-Disc, will send five mail pieces over a week's time. The company estimates that the cost will be $50,000.

M-Disc is a mini CD-ROM containing TV-like advertisements that consumers play on their PCs. Chuck Watkins, president/CEO of Rogue Wave, Spokane,

WA, said the unique aspect of Rogue Wave is that advertisers can continually update information for consumers. It is made up of five major components: video compression, active media, database collection, a transparent browser and video mail.

Watkins said the campaign will go to 2,500 people, including senior vice presidents of sales and marketing at Fortune 500 companies as well as CEOs, creative directors, head account managers and new business and sales directors at agencies. The list was developed inhouse through research and the Advertising Red Book.

The goal is to generate awareness for the M-Disc while building qualified leads. Though the text and design of the pieces are still in development, Watkins said Rogue Wave plans to use the first four pieces to build anticipation for the final piece, which will include an M-Disc that contains samples of the agency's work for mobile phone manufacturer Ericsson, one of two companies already using M-Disc.

"We want to get [recipients] saying to themselves, 'Where is this all leading?' " Watkins said.

Rogue Wave decided not to run a conventional mailing campaign consisting of one piece and the disc because of the novelty of the product.

"It didn't make sense to try and market a very nontraditional product in a traditional manner," said Tom Daugherty, director of sales at Rogue Wave. "This campaign needs to have an impact and be something different, just like the product."

Daugherty said Rogue Wave has not decided whether there will be a call-to-action in the first four mailings, but the recipients will be asked for their names and e-mail addresses when they open the M-Disc included with the final piece. If they provide the information before continuing the tour, they will be placed automatically into the Rogue Wave database through a link to the company's Web site,, and will receive a follow-up phone call.

Also, recipients will receive an automated response video e-mail once they open M-Disc. The e-mail will thank them and let them know where they can find further information on Rogue Wave.

Watkins said the average cost for a company to run a campaign using the M-Disc depends on what it wants to do. But he said the company probably would only need to turn one or two recipients into customers to see a positive return on investment.

Rogue Wave is designing the collateral for the campaign inhouse.

Michael Bush, DM News


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