Archive for the ‘Best practices’ Category

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.  

February 20, 2014 @ 12:51 pm
posted by Barry Sideroff


Back in the stone-age, when there was no big data or come to think of it, any data at all, marketing was fragmented. Cave paintings and smoke signals were often “off message”. With the gradual addition of new forms of communication, the problem became worse.

Fast forward to the age of Mad Men and we see advertisers using new, “modern media” such as TV, radio, print and even advertising delivered directly to a prospect’s mail box – can you believe it? Unfortunately, these ads were often produced by different people and the output for a single brand often looked like it came from different companies. In the age of mad men, and mad women, it was really hard to break through with a break-through brand.

Well guess what – advertisers did not stand for it! Enter the age of “integrated marketing communications”. It was brand organizations that transformed marketing by embracing this new paradigm with co-equal, multi-disciplinary teams, eventually including digital and social, all dedicated to meeting common goals and objectives.

Now fast forward yet again and you’ll find yourself in the era of “multi-channel marketing” which, in our opinion, is pretty much the same as integrated marketing. But a day does not go by without the introduction of a new buzzword and now, all the talk is about “omni-channel marketing”. But does omni-channel marketing really differ from multi-channel marketing and if so, what does it mean to you?

Wikipedia defines it this way:

“Omni-channel marketing is very similar to multi-channel marketing but is concentrated more on a seamless approach to the consumer experience through all available shopping channels, i.e., mobile internet devices, computers, brick-and-mortar, television, radio, direct mail, catalog, and so on.”

Here’s why it’s important and what we suggest

Omni-channel marketing relates not just to the advertising and promotional channels of communication we use, but to the channels of sales distribution as well.  In an omni-channel world, it does not matter where or how a consumer buys -- stores, websites, direct mail, catalogs, mobile platforms, social networks, home shopping, gaming, etc., as long as she buys.

 We think you should embrace omni-channel marketing, and absolutely let the consumer determine how she wants to hear and buy from you -- after all, it’s she who’s in control.  Listen to her, align with her wants and needs, and with a little bit of luck, you will succeed.

June 27, 2012 @ 7:14 am
posted by Barry Sideroff



Our last two blogs took you through the first six Direct 2.0 principles. In this final entry in the series, we’ll provide detail on #7, #8, #9 and #10, the last four of our ten principles -- mastering your data, analytics and measurement; moving from social points of presence to a full “social ecosystem”; making mobile marketing and sales work; and optimizing on both effectiveness and efficiency.

 Master your data, analytics and measurement

Rigorously apply analytics to achieve a competitive advantage. Use segmentation (both consumer and professional), profiling (demographic, psychographic, behavioral and/or firmographic) and data-driven modeling (acquisition, expansion and retention) to optimize your sales outcomes.

 Move from social points of presence to a full “social ecosystem”

Optimize your internet presence by using it for content distribution to third-party sites and for use in social communities, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Use the “hub-and-spoke” model with your site being the hub (the “social home”) and third-party networks being spokes for outreach and pull through.

Make mobile marketing and sales work

Mobile marketing is growing fast. Create a strong mobile marketing plan and set of tactics that provide value. Go beyond "what's in the app" to a more robust strategy that extends to LBS (location based services) to engage consumers and make sales using strong calls-to-action.

Optimize on both effectiveness and efficiency

Optimize campaign effectiveness (# of sales) and efficiency ($ per sale) by using all the arrows in your quiver. A balanced mix of online and offline media is generally required to achieve the greatest number of sales at the lowest possible cost.

 A final thought as we conclude the series – do not throw the baby out with the bath water. Even Google continues to use “snail mail” when appropriate. Never exclude traditional tactics because they are no longer in vogue. Select your media and tactics based upon their unique performance characteristics. The right mix of online and offline will almost always outperform single dimension campaigns.