Back From the Grave

By Dawn Lospaluto
In October 27, 2010

Apparently truly unable to remain dead, zombies seem to re-enter the collective cultural consciousness at least once every generation. In the late 1960s, it was the classic zombie movie, “The Night of the Living Dead,” that brought them to life; in the early 1980s, Michael Jackson’s groundbreaking “Thriller” album and video added a youthful spin to zombie regeneration; and in 2009 the pesky creatures hit the literary world full force with popular send-ups of  literary classics such as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim.

The undead are not only resilient, but can be lucrative as well. “Night of the Living Dead,” for example, was made for about $115,000, but brought in more than $42 million in ticket sales—and was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry. “Thriller” is the best-selling album of all time and a deal was announced earlier this month to turn the mega-hit video into a full-length feature film.

During this Halloween season maybe it’s time that you thought about breathing some life into the “zombies” on your customer list—the clients that have slipped away over the last two years due to the financial pressures of the recession on their businesses. Take a close look at that list of comatose former clients—especially those fallen-away good clients—and consider the new services you offer that might restore their interest in your company now that the economy is showing some tentative signs of life.

Odds are that over the last two or three years you have added new capabilities, such as marketing services and multi-media output that increase client response rates; mailing services that can help customers navigate the arcane regulations of the U.S. Postal Service and leverage its automation discounts; or more effective variable-data solutions to one-on-one marketing concerns made possible by today's versatile digital printing equipment.

As you head into the 2010 home stretch, comb your “dead” account list, do some lifesaving research on their current products and services, and work with your technical and operations folks to find new answers to what are likely to be their current needs. Then pick up the phone or start emailing to see if you can reinvigorate those old relationships with ideas that will add new life to their business and yours.

Dawn Lospaluto

Epicomm Senior Director of Communications, Dawn has been the editor of Epicomm 's "Bottom Line" magazine and its predecessor publications, "NAPL Business Review," Printing Manager," and "The Journal of Graphic Communications Management," for 20 years. She also writes and edits several Epicomm member print and electronic newsletters, including [Re]View, Management Bulletin, Highlights, and Discover; press releases; and various marketing materials; and oversees Epicomm 's book publishing program. Dawn previously served as corporate managing editor for Allied (now Honeywell) Corporation and as a reporter and editor for New Jersey's largest evening newspaper. She is a graduate of Douglass College (Rutgers University) and holds an M.A. degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she has served on the adjunct faculty.

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