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November 2006 BY CHRIS BAUER
Managing Editor
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LEVELING THE playing field for small- to mid-sized businesses to market their services like the Fortune 500 big boys—at affordable prices—was the goal for executives at Cross Media. The result, a 40 percent growth spike in 2005, proves that Cross Media’s vision had merit. Like its name implies, Cross Media is leading the way in a new hybrid industry where printing, creative and marketing services have merged and a return on investment (ROI) is key.

Cross Media, based in Dallas, was founded in 1993. Its 85 employees support a client roster that includes well-known names like Hewlett-Packard, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Sara Lee, HBO, EDS and Texas Instruments—as well as an even longer list of small- and mid-sized companies.

In 2003, Cross Media’s president, Jeff Bradford, realized that innovation would drive company growth. After some market research, he came to the conclusion that clients preferred to deal with as few vendors as possible. In addition, layoffs were forcing marketing professionals to get more done with fewer resources—and upper management was demanding measurable ROI on marketing programs to justify expenses.

Bradford also decided that measurable marketing ROI could be provided to clients by leveraging technology that, in the past, had only been accessible to larger companies. Armed with this information, Bradford hired Mike Tobias, a technology veteran with more than 25 years of experience, as CEO. Together, they created the new vision for Cross Media.

Moving Into New Areas

In January 2005, after spending 18 months building a technology infrastructure, Cross Media began offering marketing implementation (from research to advertising to lead tracking to direct mail) and graphic design services, as well as promotional products. The company’s projections proved to be just what the market needed and, in 2005, Cross Media experienced a 40 percent increase in revenues, growing from $10 million to $14 million.

“Cross Media is a solution-driven organization, committed to implementing marketing and sales strategy from concept to distribution,” Bradford explains.

The company’s focus is on helping customers decrease their costs and increase their revenues by providing:

• Marketing implementation services

• Automated marketing campaigns

• Collateral management

• Integrated print manufacturing

• Promotional products

• Lead generation

• Regional printing plants with offset and digital capabilities and full bindery services

• In-house mailing and fulfillment

Cross Media’s history is rich with entrepreneurial spirit while receiving no outside funding. From humble beginnings with three employees and 1,600 square feet of leased office space, the company has grown to multiple locations with more than 50,000 square feet of combined space.

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