Our business – and the ability to passionately serve our customers – is only possible with outstanding support and dedication from our supply partners. It is with this reality that we gathered more than 115 partners from 37 companies for our 13th annual Supplier Summit in Chanhassen on Monday. This was an excellent opportunity to not only recognize their contributions to our success, but provide an update on the state of direct mail and the state of IWCO Direct. We wanted to recap the highlights of what was a very successful event, including presentations from Debora Haskel, Mike Ertel, Joe Morrison and myself.
State of Direct Mail
We’re encouraged with the trajectory of paper-based communication. According to Winterberry Group, marketers spent more than $45 billion on direct mail in 2012. That’s more than search, online video, online rich media, online banner ads and traditional magazine ad spend combined. Why do marketers center their campaigns on direct mail? It remains an effective, indispensable channel anchored by excellent response and scalability – and there is no online equivalent to the offline impact of “Big Data” in our industry.
What’s more, consumers appreciate direct mail. They value its tangibility and the flexibility to engage with messages on their terms. They also appreciate and respond well to its “once-a-day pace.” This is true now more than ever in today’s world of constant connection and crowded inboxes. In fact, 65% of consumers made a purchase from a catalog, postcard or other piece of direct mail.
But the impact of emerging digital channels is undeniable. We’ve long said the best campaigns will utilize a cross-channel approach as companies will continue to reinvent and extend existing direct mail strategies with online media targeted to an offline list.
State of IWCO Direct
With last year’s production platform reset complete, we’re proud to report significant volume additions in 2013. This growth has been driven by a number of factors such as our continuing shift toward greater diversification of markets served, outstanding creative services and a number of strategic investments including the installation of an Océ ColorStream® 3900 at our headquarters in Chanhassen and an Océ JetStream® 2200 at our Mail-Gard® facility in Warminster, Pa.
This growth has also been driven by continued innovation. Our business model has a long history of firsts:
- 1995 – First to bring commingling to market for commercial use
- 2001 – First to bring Total Package to market
- 2006 – First to engage suppliers and business partners in postal reform efforts
- 2011 – First to bring high density commingling to market
- 2013 – First to bring Marketing Sciences with Platform Optimization to market
Marketing Sciences are full-service, performance driven direct marketing solutions that effectively combine direct marketing intelligence and efficient execution to lead clients to achieve the next level of performance and profitability with their direct mail campaigns. It’s a new way to look at direct marketing, and we’re excited about the direction we’re headed.
The day ended with a wonderful cruise aboard Al & Alma’s Bella Vista on Lake Minnetonka and a chance to relax and further develop our supplier relationships that are pivotal to our success. We were very pleased with the feedback provided by attendees. Mike Patterson of King Solutions seemed to capture the thoughts of all by saying, “The Supplier Summit was excellent! They are always encouraging and inspiring, however yesterday’s was the best.”
The 13th annual Supplier Summit was one to remember. The future looks bright, but we challenge our suppliers to continue identifying competitive advantages, striving for flawless execution and focusing on innovation in their products, processes and services. Thanks to all for not only taking the time to attend, but for your continued support. I’d also like to thank everyone at IWCO Direct who made this year’s Supplier Summit possible. There were so many people behind the scenes who contributed in countless ways. They cannot be thanked enough for their effort in pulling off such a great event.
Subscribe via email to our Stevie® and Feedspot award-winning blog and get a fresh post delivered weekly to your inbox. We promise to keep it interesting, but you can easily unsubscribe if we don’t.