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Less Direct Mail. More Digital.

By Mark DiMassimo

Our clients hire us to drive brand value up while driving cost-per-acquisition down.

Basically, they need to exceed revenue targets (i.e. sales) while they lay the groundwork for outsized growth – that’s what I call Big Brand.

For some that are reliant on direct mail for a large portion of the new customer acquisitions, this means first making the direct mail work a lot better.

Simultaneously, we work to shift the locus of acquisition to the digital channels where we know we can generate more response – more sign-ups, applications, accounts, customers, clients, recruitment, leads, sales, etc. – for fewer dollars.

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In fact, we’ve found that we can so dramatically lower the cost of acquiring a new customer that businesses and brands are dramatically transformed. Promising start-ups become hot growth-stage companies. Mature companies in “tired industries” become hot turnaround stories.

And here’s the thing – we accomplish all of this with a managed level of risk. We test, before we roll out. We only move the real dollars after a strategy has proven to outperform the old strategy. We remain agile and optimize our mix on a daily basis, reporting and meeting with clients weekly to discuss and make the decisions that make all the difference.

Of course, there are internal communications issues, political challenges, vendor conflicts and other considerations that can interrupt the process of creating a dramatically outperforming marketing mix. Because this is all we do, we know those waters very well and we can help navigate while you steer, Captain.

Then we help our clients layer in social-led acquisition, mobile-driven brand direct marketing and content-fueled response marketing. We’ve been scouting those waters for over a decade as well.

Let’s talk more about this. Tweet me at @markdimassimo or shoot me an email at mark@digobrands.com.

Less direct mail. More digital. Onward!

How To Get Creative People To Make You Rich

By Mark DiMassimo

Here’s how to get creative people to make you rich:

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First off, don’t compromise.

Don’t give up one iota of ambition or one quantum of results orientation.

Don’t pretend to care about awards or fame or any of those other things that people think creative people care more about than money.

All you need to do is speak a language that lets creatives know that you are absolutely committed to BOTH – selling more and driving up brand value, money and relevant fame.

All you must do is never undermine their faith in your commitment to top-level achievement on BOTH of those scales, and then you win.

Sometimes this means saying “brand response” or “brand direct” instead of “direct response.” I know, it seems silly, but it’s a tell.

When you say “direct,” “direct marketing” or “direct response,” creatives hear, “Let’s just forget about who we are and what we want to stand for, and let’s just trick people into buying stuff.”

When you say “brand response” or “brand direct,” creatives hear, “I’m not sacrificing this brand for sales and I’m not sacrificing sales for this brand. Figure it out!”

Seems a small thing, but wait until you see how well it works! Because when you make it clear that you will settle for no less than success in the short run AND success in the long run, you become the client everyone in the shop wants to work for. You become the inspiring one.

When you show that you don’t buy the false choice between selling and brand building, you’ll see it in the eyes of the creative people you inspire. Because while, yes, a lot of creative people like awards and recognition, that’s not what they live for. What creative people live for is solving the most difficult problems brilliantly.

For more on how to get creative people to make you rich, consider using The 10 Signs of an Inspiring Action Brand as your roadmap.

Our Clients Aren’t Companies. They’re Marketers.

Behind each company we work with, there is at least one inspiring action marketer. Who works with us day in and day out. Who’s on every conference call and in every meeting. Who collaborates with us to align on strategy, creative, and so much more. Whose passion and enthusiasm for ideas inspires us to strive for greatness.

Brands are the present evidence of past marketing visionaries. We don’t buy past performance. We invest in the future, and the future is in the hands of the inspiring action marketer of today. And we invest beyond all calculation in people who inspire us.

That’s why at DiMassimo Goldstein, our clients aren’t companies, they’re marketers. They’re a part of the team.  And while the end goal is always business growth, we know that in order to achieve that, we must grow as marketers – and help marketers grow —  in the process.

Last week, we got to see fruits of this growth first hand when two of our clients, Jodi Fronczke of TradeStation and Liz Robinson of Sallie Mae, were among those honored as The Gramercy Institute’s “20 Rising Stars in Financial Marketing.”

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From left to right: Liz Robinson (Rising Star), Nehal Beltangady, Mark DiMassimo, Jodi Fronczke (Rising Star)

Both Jodi and Liz are smart, hard-working and visionary marketers who deserve every bit of this recognition. They handle every marketing problem that comes their way with absolute grace, rising to the challenge each time. They truly value their partners, and inspire their teams. We couldn’t be more proud of them.

For twenty years, we’ve always put the client first, and when you commit to your client’s success, great things are going to happen. We love working with stars, and now we have an entire constellation.  We won’t stop until our stars are lighting up a galaxy!

Congratulations on the honor, Jodi and Liz! And more importantly, thank you for inspiring us every day.

Bonfire of Clichès

Clichés. Hoary old ideas that won’t die. Every category has them, along with marketers to whom they are sweet music and the be-all-end-all of “what works.” But what happens when all the old ideas stop working? Or when your formerly great idea has been so widely copied that it’s not your idea anymore? Or what if you are just one of those daring marketers who aims for something more than cliché results? How do you get people to go along?

Try a Ritual Burning of the Clichés. Call your team together, including your agency partner or partners. Ask everyone to bring their best examples of category creative. Together, brainstorm an extensive list of clichés. From “free toaster” to “skinny model,” every category has them. Once you have a list, your team may find it very satisfying to actually burn something. It could be the whole pile of clichés or just the worst of the bunch. Keep a fire extinguisher handy. Think of it as lighting a fire under the organization.

 

Test Your Way to a New Campaign

At some point, it happens. The consensus begins to build that your campaign is a bit long in the tooth. Your attempts to freshen it up and tweak your way to ever-higher levels of ROI are yielding smaller returns, or worse. Plus, let’s face it; the people you work with are sick of it.

Do you take your “old friend” out to the back of the barn and shoot it in the head? That’s the way most advertisers do it. They work up a new campaign, either with their current agency or through a pitch process. They “test” it using a couple of focus groups and then roll it out. Unfortunately, this process yields more suffering than success.

Take a page from the direct marketer’s playbook. Test your new campaigns for real using matched sets of geographic markets. Identify two, three, or four similar markets and run an entire test campaign in 1 to 3 of them while you run your current/control campaign in one. Then track the results. When you have a clear winner, roll it out nationally. Yes, it takes a bit longer. But, remember that tortoise…

 

The Age of the Selfifesto®.

By Tom Christmann,

A lot of our clients here at DiMassimo Goldstein are direct-model. I know. I know. That sounds awful, right? That word — “direct!” — strikes fear in the hearts of us modern marketers. But that’s because many of us are thinking about it from the wrong side. Sure, direct-model brands sell directly to consumers. And they have for hundreds of years. This has led to some of the worst advertising in the history of advertising. The Snuggie. The Clapper. Encyclopedia Brittanica.

But think about direct-model consumers. The ones who keep coming back, that is. They are more apt to feel like they’re part of the brand. Like they’re in a club. Maybe it’s a Dollar Shave Club. Or maybe they’re season ticket holders to a sports team. (Yes, sports teams are direct-model businesses.) Or maybe they’re Tesla drivers. Or BMW drivers.

Direct-model consumers are also more willing to want to be a part of the marketing message. In fact, they take it upon themselves to be a part of it. On YouTube. On Instagram. On Twitter. And, while you can’t script what they say, you can harness them to craft the right message for prospects who might be just like them but haven’t tried your brand yet.

That’s just what we did for Weight Watchers this year. They wanted to celebrate their members losing 15% more weight on the new Beyond The Scale plan. But more importantly, they really wanted people to notice that there was a new Beyond The Scale plan. So we sent out a package to key members. In it was a rough script based on things we’d heard on the internet: How the change to the new plan was scary. And how at first they didn’t like it. And, finally, how it worked. Of course, we didn’t force them to read the script. We also asked them to tell their own weight loss stories. And to tell us what foods they loved the way Oprah famously loved bread.

Were we crazy? We were asking a bunch of non-directors to film themselves using smartphones and webcams. We had no idea what we’d get back. We even asked them to capture footage of themselves doing exercise and cooking healthy foods. This is what production companies call “B-Roll” because it generally goes under voice-over and is used to give the film a wider range of visuals. Were they ready for this?

Of course, we had cast real consumers before. We had made documentaries about them. We had done testimonials. We had even used phone interviews as the voiceover on a campaign with real traders for our Tradestation client. But we had never handed over the whole production to them.

But guess what? It worked.

Weight Watchers – It Worked :30 from DiMassimo Goldstein on Vimeo.

Not only did they know how to frame the shots and do multiple takes (thank you selfie culture), they loved every minute of it. In the end, we had a spot featuring real consumers (some were even famous YouTubers) that actually felt real. We had people sharing and liking the spot because they recognized friends and people they followed on social media. And it literally cost zero dollars to shoot. Zero dollars. Best of all, when we edited it together with music, it truly felt like the celebration of real success we had always wanted.

We started joking that maybe we had created a new genre of ad. But what would we call it? Ladies and gentlemen, DiMassimo Goldstein presents: The Selfifesto®!

So, how are you engaging your customers in your advertising? Let’s chat. Email me at tom@digobrands.com

 

DiMassimo Goldstein Named to Inc.’s List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies For The Third Year In A Row

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We’re very proud to announce that for the third year in a row, DiMassimo Goldstein has made the Inc. 5000 list of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in America.

That’s three years in a row of award-winning growth. Three years in a row of growing by helping our clients grow. And three years in a row of Inspiring Action.

And in the spirit of the number three, this recognition means three very important things to us:

First, it means that our team members – the action heroes who deliver on our mission everyday —  are growing. They are growing their expertise and their chops. They are growing as employees and human beings. And, they are growing as inspiring action marketers.

Secondly, it means that the Inspiring Action tribe, those who want to help people make more inspiring decisions and form more empowering habits, is growing.

And most importantly, it means that the world-class marketers and inspiring clients that we have partnered with are growing. As a true and un-conflicted agent of the client, we can only grow if our clients grow. So, congratulations!

And thank you for joining us on this inspiring journey of growth.

We’re building our clients brands and business, simultaneously driving brand value up and cost-per-acquisition down. We’re leading with transparent, accountable media. We’re pioneering new approaches to social-led, mobile-driven brand response marketing. We’re building the world’s leading brand response agency on Inspiring Action principles. And we’re not slowing down.

-The DiMassimo Goldstein Team

 

DiMassimo Goldstein Named to Inc.’s List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies For The Third Year In A Row.

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 12.27.04 PM

We’re very proud to announce that for the third year in a row, DiMassimo Goldstein has made the Inc. 5000 list of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in America.

That’s three years in a row of award-winning growth. Three years in a row of growing by helping our clients grow. And three years in a row of Inspiring Action.

And in the spirit of the number three, this recognition means three very important things to us:

First, it means that our team members – the action heroes who deliver on our mission everyday —  are growing. They are growing their expertise and their chops. They are growing as employees and human beings. And, they are growing as inspiring action marketers.

Secondly, it means that the Inspiring Action tribe, those who want to help people make more inspiring decisions and form more empowering habits, is growing.

And most importantly, it means that the world-class marketers and inspiring clients that we have partnered with are growing. As a true and un-conflicted agent of the client, we can only grow if our clients grow. So, congratulations!

And thank you for joining us on this inspiring journey of growth.

We’re building our clients brands and business, simultaneously driving brand value up and cost-per-acquisition down. We’re leading with transparent, accountable media. We’re pioneering new approaches to social-led, mobile-driven brand response marketing. We’re building the world’s leading brand response agency on Inspiring Action principles. And we’re not slowing down.

-The DiMassimo Goldstein Team