Digital Marketing - Data into Dollars
"Businesses have become more cognizant that customer intelligence is their real asset," says Nelson. "One of the reasons our business has been growing rapidly of late is because the customer relationship management (CRM) concept has been getting so much notoriety. However, even companies that are capturing a lot of data typically still don't know how to convert it into dollars. We have the ability to turn raw data into customized communications that sell."
In selling its own services, Digital Marketing has adopted a team approach. According to Hoefle, the company's successful salespeople have come from the ranks of traditional printers, DocuTech shops and agencies. They do the phone work and handle the initial meetings, while setting up for the team-selling approach if a prospect pans out, he says. That means bringing together the right combination of marketing and production talent to craft a customized program for the client.
Through the use of communications technology—e-mail, teleconferencing and Web-based interaction—Digital Marketing is able to do work on a national basis. Nelson says that the company's approach is to look at the market in terms of potential applications, which can cut across a number of vertical markets, rather than targeting specific market segments or SIC codes. "We have identified four or five key applications, such as direct mail, newsletters and invoices with messaging," he explains.
Not all customization techniques need to be highly complex to have a significant impact on the response, the marketing pros claim. Simply avoiding the look-and-feel of mass communication is an asset, Nelson says. One technique Digital Marketing has developed is digitally printing envelopes with the appearance of hand-scripted addressing.
"You need to look at the overall package, starting with whether the piece should be a self-mailer or sent in an envelope," Hoefle says. "Post office statistics indicate that as much as 50 percent of business-to-consumer mail is thrown out without ever being opened. If the program uses an envelope, the first objective should be to break through the clutter. In the end, this may be more essential than having dynamic text and pictures on the inside."