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You get a consultative approach to your assignments

Here's what you can expect by contracting with dmcg (Direct Marketing Consulting Group).

Depending upon the scope of your assignment, we do our homework by getting to know your customer, your products, your selling processes, your database and any test results. This review alone almost always uncovers ways to increase your ROI.

The steps we typically take when getting up to speed on your assignment

  1. Customer profiling The first step often includes a complete customer profile analysis by overlaying your present customer database with third party data including demographics, lifestyle and behavior files.

  2. Response data forensics By analyzing your past direct marketing results, we create offers and new single channel or multi-channel test programs that are designed to beat the response of your present most successful direct response programs (that is, your controls). It is critical for the client to share what their tests included in terms of list selection, channels used and actual creative samples. Otherwise, the dmcg team will not be able to understand what worked or did not work when creating the new test program.

  3. Creative development For creative assignments, we first write a creative strategy document for your approval. This incorporates the offer, product benefits, testimonials, answers to the top three customer objections and other information the creative team needs to create your new winners.

  4. Financial pro forma Before we embark on a direct marketing program, we develop a financial pro forma that incorporates your allowable cost per lead or cost per sale. This process reveals the required response rate to achieve breakeven.

  5. We can act as an extension of your staff Some suppliers call this partnering with the client. But we really cannot partner with clients in the classic sense as stockholders. But we are "stakeholders." This simply means that as consultants, what we do after the program runs separates us from advertising agencies. We look at the total selling process looking for barriers that are affecting response rates. This might include a selling cycle audit where we examine the steps leading up to a sale. We begin with the customer's first response and tabulate every step. We then submit a report to you with our recommendations for both sales improvement and new selling opportunities.

Frequent Client Questions

Q. Do you work on-site or off-site?

This depends upon your needs. We can work off site if the project requires solo activities. In some cases, face-to-face input sessions are required. There are times when an interim assignment to asess the marketing infrastructure or staff requires extended periods of time at the client's business site(s).

Q. How do you charge for your work?

We typically bill fees by the hour or on a flat fee basis when the work specifications are sufficiently defined. Billing rates vary depending upon the type of work performed.

Q. What types of clients do you work with?

Our clients include advertising agencies, national and regional retailers, telecommunications companies, ISPs, banks, health care organizationsinsurance companiesnot-for-profit organizations, airlines, entertainment companies, public transportation organizations and any firm involved in one-to-one selling.

Q. Do you work in business-to-business or business-to-consumer?

We are equally competent in both arenas. There are differences in our approach to each category. A good example is the added complexity of building reliable customer and prospect databases for B-to-B lead generation. With higher average sales than consumer marketing, we tend to apply more expensive media such as outbound telemarketing on top of direct mail and permission email for maximum penetration when generating B-to-B leads.

Q. How do you implement the creative development in this area as well as planning and analysis?

We work with a large base of highly experienced and competent contracted freelancers to create winning direct mail packages. Ted found out years ago that beating controls requires a large diversity of creative resources. Our writers and art directors tend to specialize in certain industries. So we hire only those we believe can help our clients beat their controls regardless of the medium. This includes the core medium of direct mail as well as DRTV, print and Internet marketing.

Q. What about specialized sub categories such as CRM, list regression analyses and database engineering?

We have experience in all of these areas and hire the external resources needed to support key areas of the planning process regardless of the depth and complexity of the assignment.