Direct 2.0 Blog

June 7, 2016 @ 8:51 am
posted by Barry Sideroff


The effective use of data and technology are essential to digital-era success. However, human intelligence, gained through experience, remains essential in interpreting that data and deploying that technology.

To get a sense of what big data is, consider the vast, fragmented, often underutilized storehouses of information that businesses collect from online and off-line POS systems, product registrations, customer service call logs, and other sources. Then, add the real-time info generated as individuals engage with brands and more importantly, with each other, across digital, social and mobile touch points.

Big data is today of such unprecedented volume, variety and velocity that it strains even the largest enterprise’s capacity to extract deep insights and actionable understanding. It is not valuable for what it is but for what it makes possible.

It’s the insights we glean from it that will have unprecedented influence on how we serve consumers. And what’s most exciting is that this is being enabled today by technology that allows data to be transformed from its raw state to a usable form.

IBM’s Watson, for example, which utilizes cognitive computing / artificial intelligence to enable partnerships between people and computers, is transforming how companies leverage and deploy data. Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and HP are also investing big time in AI solutions.

By serving up previously hidden insights, big data may actually allow marketers to become more creative and to understand the consumer so fully that even right brain-generated breakthrough ideas carry less risk and promise more reward than ever before. In the end, your ultimate payoff will come not from the fact that you’ve mastered big data, but in the reality that you’ve achieved big understanding.

That’s when human intelligence comes in. Intelligence gained through real-world experiences with Fortune 500 to mid- and small-sized companies is applied. That’s where DVI can help!

Note: This blog is extracted from Rocket Fuel to Ignite Your Business, authored by B. Sideroff and G. Verdino, with updates. 

April 22, 2016 @ 12:46 pm
posted by Barry Sideroff


Direct 2.0 is not a technology-based platform. It’s our vision… our principles and the way we think. We follow a rigorous and disciplined methodology designed to increase our chances of achieving market success. While the process does vary from client to client and assignment to assignment, we almost always follow this path:

We ensure that your/our strategy is financially sound

Strategy is doomed from the start unless it is financially sound, i.e., can reasonably be expected to generate marketing ROI (MROI) within an available budget. We’ve developed models that can project outcomes based upon high, medium and low KPIs. We analyze the impact of winning, growing and retaining best customers based upon their present and future monetary value.

We optimize your routes-to-market and channels

We optimize direct (sales without intermediaries) and indirect (sales with intermediaries) routes-to-market, both B2B and B2C. Channel navigation is all about finding the shortest distance and most effective and efficient routes… direct, indirect, or both, while minimizing the potential for channel conflict and delivering sales at the lowest possible SG&A costs.

We assess the "customer journey"

Individuals, both business buyers and consumers, experience a brand through their interactions at various stages in their customer journey. These can include call center, digital user experience and social media/peer-to-peer interactions. Positive interactions at each stage enhance the brand while negative experiences degrade it. We assess the customer journey, be it direct or indirect, in order to increase sales, customer satisfaction and customer lifetime value.

We embrace the scientific method

The scientific method uses statistically valid control versus test methodology to test (prototype), validate and roll-out integrated marketing and sales efforts. Once initial benchmarks are established and growth projections calibrated (high, medium and low), changes over time can be documented. Consistent tracking, measurement and refinement will almost always yield increased MROI.

We find your “force multipliers”

While many refer to this as the “big idea”, we call it the force multiplier. Force multipliers are marketing and sales programs and assets which deliver MROI well beyond the revenue that can be directly attributed to them. They generate awareness in, interest for and desire to buy your products and services beyond the routes and channels in which they exist. There are various types of force multiples. We work with our clients to find and leverage them.

By the way, these steps need not be taken linearly and all may not be appropriate to the challenges you face. But it is the way we think about those challenges. It is what we call the art and science of Direct 2.0.  

January 19, 2016 @ 12:57 pm
posted by Barry Sideroff

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What? It’s been two years since our last post? That can’t be right!

Time does fly when you’re having fun or in our case, doing new and exciting things. While we’re certain no one has remained up at night waiting for our next post, when it occurred to us that it’s been two years, we decided it was time to update you on what’s been going on at DVI.

While our team is often brought in to serve as an outsourced marketing department, it’s not usual for us to be called in to manage, end-to-end, the marketing, sales and operations for a client. That’s what we’ve been up to for the past 18+ months.

DVI has been working with Aerotel USA, Inc., a subsidiary of Aerotel Ltd., since May 2014 tasked with the launch of its FDA Class 1 medical devices in the U.S. We created the company’s go-to-market strategy which drives distribution through government (The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense), professional (doctors, physical therapists and chiropractors) and direct-to-consumer (DTC) channels. We are now enabling sales through those channels with innovative direct, digital and social media demand generation programs.

What’s most gratifying about our relationship with Aerotel is that we have been empowered to do things, based upon our very strong track record, which we do not generally do. But when we step back, that’s how it’s been with many of our clients. As was the case with IBM, having no experience working in the technology sector, this writer was instrumental in the launch of IBM Direct and later, IBM’s global telesales channel and with Aetna, with no healthcare insurance marketing experience, we had the privilege of launching several new consumer lines-of-business.

The challenge, of course has been keeping in touch with both current and past clients and friends. So if you are reading this post and you’ve not heard from us for a while, we beg your forgiveness. Out of sight is out of mind. We hope to correct that in the weeks and months ahead.

May 2016 be a breakthrough year for you!