White Paper: Direct Marketing Keystones: Case Studies of Success by Emerging DM Companies

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Stan Rapp, a much-honored giant of direct marketing, built not one but two global DM and advertising networks, each growing to hundreds of millions in annual revenue. He also co-authored "MaxiMarketing," the best seller that predicted today's marketing world a generation ago.

Rapp presented his current outlook at the SmartDM Sports CRM conference in Nashville, TN, in September. John Harrison, one of our own team members and a board member of SmartDM, was at the conference and was greatly impressed with Rapp's presentation. We are pleased to provide our report of the insights Rapp shared with his audience.

Rapp noted that direct marketing has been faced with stifling legislation and a relatively weak domestic economy, but the concepts of direct-to-consumer and direct-to-business relationships and sales remain very healthy and are growing rapidly. In addition, businesses have wholeheartedly embraced the ability to market products or services via an online presence; most incorporated businesses in the United States now have a Web site.

Rapp thinks that we are entering the period of what he labeled "Direct Mass Marketing," the next "next thing." Mass marketers (advertisers) now highly segment their products and services, such as Nike offering design-your-own shoes online or companies with slightly differentiated products to appeal to niche tastes (such as vanilla, cherry, lemon and lime Diet Coke).

On the other hand, DMers now "think big" and conduct large-scale campaigns. Everyone is "always on" via cell phone or PC and can respond instantly to an appealing offer. Direct Mass Marketing lets marketers connect with as many likely buyers as possible through multiple media channels, then interact one-on-one to close the sale online, by phone, direct mail, through a local agent or in a retail store.



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