Book Review – Borrowing Brilliance

by Tim Little

Borrowing Brilliance by NASA Aerospace Engineer (Rocket Scientist) and direct mail marketing millionaire guru David Kord Murrayis on the Wall Street Journal’s 10 best seller list and should be on the bookshelves of all direct marketers as one of the best marketing strategy books ever, in my opinion. David gives you the gritty details of his up and down life as a millionaire direct mail marketer.

Borrowing Brilliance, in David Murray’s own words, is “to take the creative process out of the shadows of the subconscious mind and bring it into the conscious world. It’s to dispel the misconceptions about creativity, lift the fog off its true nature, and reveal the fact that brilliance is borrowed.”

Borrowing Brilliance is a six step process where you build your idea from well defined problems. Once defined you borrow your ideas from other sources with a comparable problem.

For example Bill Gates came up with the idea of Excel by stealing the original program from Lotus 1-2-3 and tried to make it better and easier to use, so Bill Gates took this software program and allowed it to evolve into something more useful for business applications and accounting.

Take your best ideas and the best ideas from your competitors and do the opposite because sometimes you can’t beat a bigger, stronger competitor by copying them exactly but you can beat them by doing the opposite.

Click on image for more information
Click on image for more information!

David Murray uses examples from the Google guys, Albert Einstein and some of the work he did for Turbo Tax when he started his own direct marketing company Kord Marketing Group and was hired by a company to be ahead of Innovation.

David Murray used his direct marketing venture with Turbo Tax direct mail program and on his office walls he would tape up letters, order forms, brochures and envelops and at his desk, shampoo samples, CD’s DVD’s and dozens of other things that he borrowed from friends.

He assembles idea’s by using ideas from Publishers Clearing House, order forms from Columbia music, an audit letter from the Internal Revenue Service and borrows an idea from America Online. From this he creates a break through direct mail marketing breakthrough.

The zero balance bill was the idea the first time he mailed it he got a 1% response, the second time he mailed he got a 2% response and eventually 25% response, his direct mail campaign completely broke the law of direct mail diminishing returns. Normally in direct mail when you mail a duplicate package to the exact same list you would experience diminishing returns, but in his cast the exact opposite occurred.

This direct mail package would net a higher response each time you used rather than the opposite. The reason is that people seem to like the bills that they don’t have to pay and you make it look like a notice from the IRS. This direct mail package was called the zero balance bill.

Get your copy of Borrowing Brilliance: The Six Steps to Business Innovation by Building on the Ideas of Others and start winning today!

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