Marketing Central engines are one of the core offerings that DME Sales Systems is taking to customers, Oliphant says. Users of these online marketing portals have the ability to pull lists, build direct mail pieces and create personalized Websites to execute personalized direct marketing programs.
For the organization as a whole, Panaggio sees testing as critical to getting customers out of the “creative abyss.” Many companies will procrastinate when it comes to launching a personalized direct marketing initiative because they are afraid of doing something wrong and wasting money as a result, he explains.
“That’s where testing comes into play. You can eliminate a lot of that procrastination by saying, ‘OK, let’s do something, but we’ll test the idea by starting small.’ By doing constant testing, we become a marketing laboratory for them,” notes the company exec.
When so much testing is being done, some of it can become a loss leader, Panaggio concedes. Thus, it helps to be a privately held company on a very sound financial footing.
In addition to Panaggio and Oliphant, the list of people with a stake in the overall organization includes Kathy Wise, COO of DME and Mike’s sister; and Mike Walther, president of DME. Tom Panaggio (brother) and Jorge Villar have ownership stakes in a sister company, Response Mail Express in Tampa, which specializes in pre-designed, pre-printed stationery and marketing products for the financial sector.
The organization also has acquired sales entities that specialize in the automotive and gaming sectors, points out Walther. This was done to gain the intellect required to serve those markets, he says. “That intellect is the company’s scarcest resource.”
All of the business units operate independently to a degree, with an account manager or sales representative serving as the point person for a client, notes the company’s president. Each area has its own manager who is given a lot of leeway in running that operation and is empowered to make decisions, he explains.