On Wednesday we held our 15th Annual Supplier Summit at our Chanhassen headquarters. Although the weather wasn’t as nice as we would have liked, the rain and clouds couldn’t overshadow the great news we had to share with more than 85 of our key business partners.
We wanted to briefly summarize the key takeaways from our afternoon meeting, which was segmented into four key parts.
Evolution of Marketing & Sales
Debora Haskel led off with a fascinating overview of the Top 12 marketing trends in 2015. Debora went on to provide statistics from the 2015 DMA Response Rate Report that showed direct mail remains one of the strongest channels available for driving sales growth. She also discussed the continued evolution of personalization. You may be familiar with the concept of having to reach the right person at the right time with the right offer. Because data is becoming so sophisticated, we now need to extend that idea to include the right channel and with the right context.
Next, Mike Ertel explained to the crowd that what we really sell to our clients is results. Our discussions used to focus primarily on our ability to execute their ideas. Today, through our marketing services offering, we bring planning and testing capabilities, data segmentation and creative horsepower to create campaigns that drive response and ROMI – and have the testing and analytics to prove it. This has elevated our discussion to a strategic level within our clients’ organizations and puts the focus on how we can drive up response, not drive down production costs.
Karen Weil gave an update on our expanded focus on sustainability, which not only supports our clients’ corporate sustainability programs, but makes IWCO Direct better stewards of the environment as well. She explained how the focus on sustainability is growing, with every RFP we receive having a section committed to environmental stewardship. We asked everyone in the room to help us in these efforts. This runs the gamut from bringing new ideas and feedback to us, to sharing resources, to identifying eco-friendly products and solutions.
Karen shared more updates on our sustainability initiatives earlier this week, and I would encourage you to read it if you’d like to learn more about our efforts.
I gave the room an exciting update on our financials. We’ve definitely having a good year and we sincerely thank our customers. Volumes are up. Revenues are up. We continue to make strategic capital equipment investments to support our clients’ needs. We’ve established a strong and diverse customer base and we’re bullish on 2016 and beyond.
Jim closed the presentation by reviewing our 15 years of “firsts,” including our history of leadership in commingling, creation of a total package platform, adoption of inkjet technology and now our development of an end-to-end solution that combines strategy with execution to drive results. He also explained how we’re poised to continue to lead into the future. We have the best digital platform in the industry and new vertical markets in our sights. Most importantly, we’re not losing focus on customer service. In fact, the feedback from our customers has been great. At each of our Customer Spotlights this year, our clients have commented that “nobody does it better.”
I’d like to thank everyone who attended Wednesday’s Supplier Summit and everyone at IWCO Direct who worked behind the scenes to make this a great event. It’s truly an exciting time to be working in this industry. We expect great things in the years ahead.
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