Does direct mail marketing still work? You bet it does, says John Anderson, director of sales at Distributor Marketing Management (DMM) in Columbia Station, Ohio.
“How many emails do you get a day and how many do you delete a day,” Anderson said. “Well-thought-out direct mail is more impactful because it feels more legitimate to your customers. An effective flyer doesn’t get thrown away, rather it finds a useful place on the dashboard of your customer’s truck, where they’ll use it to make buying decisions. People in our industry are still tactile, they work with their hands. A lot of people who make decisions about purchasing electrical products, their mobile office doesn’t allow for click-throughs, but they see direct mail on their passenger seat.”
DMM, an IMARK member service provider, designs and develops personalized marketing programs for wholesale distributors. The company develops marketing plans, direct mail campaigns, incentive programs and digital signage for sales counters. “We partner with our customers to do three important things,” Anderson said. “We help you build your brand, put a plan together and find ways to demonstrate how your people add value. It’s not always about product, it’s about your people and your relationships. We make sure that your communications and direct mail support the fact that you are building relationships.”
DMM was founded in 1992 by Loren George, who launched the business to help independent distributors be more profitable. George is the company president and there are 10 full-time employees who work in sales, digital marketing, design, account management and the print shop.
Today, DMM has more than 85 clients who collectively have more than 1,000 locations nationwide. The company has a full design studio that creates products ranging from banners, posters and magazine ads to logos, counter signs, direct mail, promotional items and growth incentive promotions. The majority of DMM’s business is direct mail marketing.
To support distributors, DMM prints extra copies of direct mail pieces to put on the client counter and deliver into salespeople’s hands. “We sweat the details to make sure that your message about products, pricing, promotions and services stands out,” Anderson said. Direct mail can be especially effective in helping distributors drive clients to use a new e-commerce site, according to Anderson.
DMM has a full-time design staff that helps set the company apart. The company handles everything from client meetings, design, layout, internal printing and direct mail—all under one roof.
A key way to differentiate your company is to focus on people, relationships and service. That’s where DMM’s digital counter signage program comes in.
Launched in January, the program has proven effective at boosting counter sales and maximizing showroom sales, Anderson said. How? A TV screen supplements a company’s counter personnel with a continuous stream of compelling information and video graphics about the company, products and services, how-to videos and tech tips—right at the point of sale.
“It’s effective because it’s so targeted,” Anderson said. “You have the attention of the people who can actually buy your products. It’s the ultimate home field advantage. Some companies spend a fortune producing videos that sadly only get a low number of views on the internet,” Anderson said. “The vendors are jumping on board with digital signage because they recognize the value of having their message broadcast to a very targeted audience and they’re saying, ‘Wow, this makes a difference.’”
DMM also helps wholesale distributors with targeted campaigns to entice new customers—from sourcing and editing mailing lists to creating effective materials and calls to action that usually include incentives to drive sales. The company helped an Indiana distributor target 1,000 customers with a growth promotion that increased the distributor’s sales by $1.5 million, Anderson said.
DMM still sees itself as old-fashioned—in a good way. “For those of us who have been around awhile, we know that there are consulting groups and CRM companies that try to shame distributors into things that are expensive and may not work,” Anderson said. “We’re different because we take the time to not only listen to customers, but we tailor programs and messaging for each customer. There are no shortcuts in this biz, but we believe if you work with us, we can put you on the expressway.”