What Would DMG Do?

You have issues... we have ideas

Most of the prospects we engage are experiencing one or more "pains" in the execution of their direct mail programs. As a standard practice we like to ask these prospects specific questions to try to unearth those issues. DMG's answers to its clients' typical problems are outlined below. Choose the issue(s) that hits closest to home for you and click on the plus sign (+) to see how DMG might help with your resolution.

WWDD: Direct mail is more of an art than a science. Each order is custom manufactured; we’re definitely not making widgets here! That’s both the beauty and the curse of one-to-one marketing. There’s great value in direct marketing because of the personalization aspect of the medium, however, it can sometimes make for a lot of headaches when it comes time to execute.

At Direct Marketing Group we can reduce such pain. Possessing all print production, envelope manufacturing, lettershop/personalization and postal clearing under one roof makes the process much more manageable. This allows us to reduce cycle times, minimize quality defects, and dramatically improve on-time deliveries. All we produce is direct mail – and we do it well.

WWDD: This is not an uncommon issue. The causes of missed mail dates could be many. Is it the creative execution process? Is it the approval process – including legal intervention? Is it the lack of internal scheduling integrity? Is it your vendors’ scheduling struggles? Or, is it the generally unrealistic nature of the campaign schedule? Usually what we find is that it’s not one factor, it’s many.

Direct Marketing Group knows what it takes to get a campaign out on time and we thoroughly understand how long each step of the process should take to complete. We also know that things happen along the way that are unforeseen and we need to build those inevitable hurdles into the overall schedule. Finally, we believe strongly in scheduling fidelity, on the part of DMG, but also with all other participants. We like to take on the role of tasking others to make sure we’re meeting the ultimate date – the drop date! We’ve learned that if there’s not a good traffic cop in the process, accidents can happen. And we just don’t want to see anyone get hurt!

WWDD: We see this often! Marketing staffs seem to be perennially impacted by headcount reductions, or regardless of the increase in the number of campaigns, the marketing department must hold tight with the same amount of people. There are only so many hours in the day and there’s only so many programs that your team can manage…while maintaining sanity!

Direct Marketing Group has the ability to reach out and help! DMG can embed project management or account services talent – temporarily or permanently – into your marketing team in order to help you through challenging times. We can also provide remote assistance in managing your schedules, campaign planning, proof approvals, file distribution, and comprehensive production management. We can become a virtual or actual member of your staff so that you don’t have to add full time employees or burn out your current team. At DMG, we’re here for you when you need us most!

WWDD: Don’t worry, you’re not alone!  This is a very common occurrence in the marketplace – specifically if you have not recently tested new copy, formats, offers, designs, and/or lists.  Possibly you have been testing, but you’re still not seeing the needle move in your favor.  Then we like to study your market, product, points of differentiation, price point, offer, and/or deliverability on your claims to see if that’s impacting response.  Regardless, diagnosing the problem might be a short process or it may take some time after ruling everything else out.  

One way or another, with Direct Marketing Group’s expertise and successful track record in creative, strategy, & list selection, we have the capabilities and experience to revive your results and get your program back on its feet!

WWDD: Could be a combination of several things: a) Your production costs could be out of control, b) Your response rates could be dwindling, c) Postage costs are steadily on the rise, d) Lists costs are becoming unaffordable, or e) All of the above.So what do you do now?Quite frankly, this is where we often see mistakes being made.With a CPA that’s increasing many times a knee-jerk reaction would be to attack the production costs.Dumb down the design, colors, paper stock, and complexity of your format and try to save 5% - 10% on your production costs. Although this might have a modest 2-3% impact on the all-in package costs (list, production, postage), it will have even less of an impact on CPA.Often times we see the response rates decline as we make our packages more vanilla – thus INCREASING your CPA even further in spite of a total package cost reduction.

At Direct Marketing Group, we prefer to invest in the package so as to attack the CPA costs. Trimming the package is tempting, but our experience suggests that it ultimately will not reduce your CPA.

WWDD: One of our new clients recently shared with us that their print vendor’s standard cycle time from receipt of file to mail drop was 6-8 weeks. Our client had been working them almost exclusively for several years and the cycle time was causing numerous issues in their planning process. But it was all they knew, so they just learned to live with it. When asked what our typical cycle time was for a 100,000 piece mailing that included a letter, BRE, and outer envelope, we responded with our standard answer – 6-8 business days – or faster in a fulfillment scenario. Our new client smiled widely stating that DMG’s cycle time was approximately 1/10 the turnaround time that they were used to!

In order to optimize cycle times your vendor(s) must possess the following features & capabilities:

  • High speed technology
  • Single source capabilities under one roof: print, DP/laser, lettershop, envelope manufacturing, and mailing
  • Streamlined proofing processes
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Disciplined project management
  • Scheduling priority within the operation

At DMG, we can provide all of these features – and more – which results in consistently “industry best” speed in production and on-time deliveries. Test us and see...you’ll be smiling widely, too!

WWDD: Hey, every dog has his day, right? Just like any other advertising campaign, slogan, or brand, direct mail packages occasionally require a tweak or two – or possibly even an all out facelift. Consumers get bored with the same old same old and eventually we have to get their attention in different ways. Whether or not the actual product or service has been altered, the delivery of the value proposition has to continually be fresh, current, and unique to the competition.

Direct Marketing Group can help adjust your current creative or start over with a sparkling new campaign. Help us understand your objective and we’ll make the appropriate recommendations to get you where you want to be…and fast!

WWDD: Nobody’s getting back to you. You’re missing mail dates. You’re not getting good answers. You have to solve the problems and your vendor is not taking ownership of the situation. You haven’t even met a manager within your vendor’s organization! Sound familiar? Quite frankly, these are just some of the many reasons we find new clients.

Direct Marketing Group has structured itself around a strong support team that includes ownership involvement, sales representation, client relations, account management, and project management. In addition, sales and/or client services management become intimately involved with our clients as the situation calls for it. Each of these team members has an area of expertise and they are tasked with executing to those responsibilities. It’s hard for our people to fall down on the job because they’re part of a bigger team that is committed to taking care of our customers. Our back-ups have back-ups – and so on! At DMG rest assured that we’re going to give you the best care in the industry…we believe you’re worth it!

WWDD: Whenever we engage with a new prospect we like to ask them about their current supply chain for producing a mail campaign from concept to mail drop. Many times we hear the following responses: 1) A direct response agency, 2) A list broker, or two, 3) A printer, 4) An envelope printer, 5) A lettershop for personalization & insertion, and 6) An analytics service. That’s SIX suppliers required in order to get out a mail program. That’s at least six representatives, six schedules to navigate, six invoices to approve, six purchase orders to write, six vendors to traffic, and a whole lot of opportunity for error!

At Direct Marketing Group we offer a single point of contact for each of the services outlined above – all of which reside in our facility. Supply chain reduction is a critical benefit offered by DMG, which can result in faster turnarounds, more consistent quality, more efficient communication, simplified project coordination, better pricing, and more dependable on time mail deliveries. In the complex world of direct marketing, why not make your life easier?

WWDD: Direct Marketing Group’s company tagline reads as follows: “Performance Driven Direct Marketing.” We believe our clients are worth investing in...that’s why you’ll see creative/strategic fees that are a fraction of what the market bears. We’re interested in campaign performance and long term sustenance of the program – not short term exorbitant fees regardless of the campaign’s results.

DMG is willing to take on marketing risk in order to ensure the success of our client’s programs. In some cases we have invested heavily into the marketing campaign and offered to be compensated based on performance. We know opportunity when we see it and for the right situations we’re confident enough to put “our money where our mouths are.” To our knowledge this is a very unique difference of DMG in the marketplace. We hope you’ll put us to the test...we’re up for the challenge!

Craig Schmeizer

Looking to reduce your cycle time?

Contact Direct Marketing Group, nobody does it faster!

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