Author: Beth Harvath

Tapping into Conscious Consumerism?

Be Aware of These Four Cautionary Tips. As we advance toward the 2020 election, climate change is rising to the top as a key issue. Following a year of record CO2 emissions and the largest year-on-year increase in seven years, it’s no surprise that more people are concerned about their impact on the environment than ever.   Brands that have already commoditized this trend are on the uptick. Nielsen recently reported that products with sustainability claims (think “fair trade,” “all natural,” “organic”) generally outperformed the growth rate of total products in their respective categories. Millennials are especially conscious consumers, with 90% willing to pay more for products that contain environmentally friendly or sustainable ingredients.   It’s easy to assume that marketing the “green” qualities of your company or a specific product can only add to your success. The truth is, the path forward is littered with pitfalls which, if you are reckless or even the...

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And the Direct Marketer of the Year award goes to….

As our DCI crew boarded the Spirit of Philadelphia for the Philly DMA Benny Awards, they knew it would be an unforgettable voyage. That’s because our very own captain, Nick Lanzi, was about to be honored as Direct Marketer of the Year for 2019!   If you know Nick, then this award is not a huge surprise. If not, here are three things you need to know about DCI’s founder and president: His entrepreneurial boldness has propelled DCI from a basement home office in 1995 to one of the fastest growing companies in the Greater Philadelphia Area. (Wharton Small Business Development Center and Philadelphia Media Network’s “Philly 100” Award and Philadelphia Business Journal’s “Soaring 76” Award, 2017) He is the embodiment of what makes the Philadelphia direct marketing scene more collaborative than competitive. Nick’s unique brand of unpretentious and personal leadership is admired throughout our agency and the direct marketing sphere at large.   But...

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Overcoming bad press: college marketers vs. student debt crisis

In our previous posts, we learned how college marketers are applying marketing solutions to the problems of a declining customer base and poor retention rates. An undercurrent that has propelled both of the problems is the issue of student debt.   Search “student debt crisis” and you’ll find four years of headlines such as “Student Debt Is Dragging Down an Entire Generation”. It’s no wonder that Gen Z is cautious about the cost of college. Their paranoia of debt is compounded by the fact that they have witnessed friends and family lose jobs and homes during the 2008 recession.   Is rebranding or a brand refresh the solution?   When you have an image problem, damage control may include a total rebranding. Take Pennsylvania’s original Beaver College for example. After years of bad jokes and declining applications, they put an end to the ridicule back in 2000 when they rebranded as Arcadia University. By 2005, applications...

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Would you settle for a 30% retention rate? Neither should colleges.

In our last blog, Higher education is desperate to lure more of Gen Z. How will they succeed?,  we focused on how Colleges and Universities are bolstering their efforts to attract Gen Z as new-student enrollments continue to drop. The college strategies we reviewed are applicable to any business looking forward to Gen Z or serving them today. Of course, onboarding is just part of the story. The next challenge for higher education is retention - how to keep Gen Z engaged and enrolled through to graduation.   According to the most recent statistics available, 59.4% of students do not graduate from 4-year institutions and 70% of students do not graduate from 2-year institutions. It’s a sad statistic for our young people, the colleges they attend and our nation as a whole — especially when you consider that a majority are lower-income, minority students who may be the first in their family...

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Higher education is desperate to lure more of Gen Z. How will they succeed?

In our next few blog posts, we’ll explore a score of challenges faced by colleges and universities across the U.S. and how marketing is part of the solution. Our goal is to gain some inspiration and insight that’s applicable to any business with seemingly unsurmountable changes looming in their marketing sphere.   While industries that require higher education are growing rapidly (think healthcare and technology) it’s ironic that colleges are suffering from a steady decline in enrollment. Experts point to many factors including a strong job market that’s luring people away from higher education. Then there’s the larger issue of a declining birthrate which means fewer high school graduates from which to recruit today and in the years ahead.   So, what are colleges doing about it?   In order to recruit more of Gen Z, which encompasses the next 14 years of high school graduates, savvy college marketing departments are capitalizing on tactics that can...

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Three Marketing Lessons from Bryce Harper

Don’t underestimate the value of brand building.   Before signing his record-setting contract with the Phils, Bryce was busy scoring endorsement deals with T-Mobile, New Era, Gatorade, and others. He’s not one to be content with RBIs and MVPs. To the contrary, he’s been called an ad-making machine and that has pushed his name recognition through the roof. Now, they’ll have to create a new wave of ads with him in a Phillies uniform.   Loyalty is worth whatever the going price may be.   Marketing 101 says it costs less to keep a customer than it does to pursue a new one. Apparently, the Nationals need some marketing majors in their office. The Phils had no problem paying for a little loyalty and neither did Under Armor when they locked him in for a 10-year endorsement deal in 2016 (the largest ever for an MLB player at the time). After the boost in ticket sales,...

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Super Bowl advertisers fearlessly go for the laugh.   With an audience as monstrous and diverse as the Super Bowl, are brands taking a risk by using humor? A study of 6,500 ads by Ace Metrix concluded that humor grabs our attention but seldom motivates action…   “Humorous ads tend to garner higher levels of viewer attention, increased likeability for the ad, and improved willingness to watch the ad again in the future … however, low information and relevance on many funny ads results in creating lower desire for the advertised products than non-funny ads.”   So why are so many brands willing to spend 5 million dollars to generate a chuckle in 30 seconds? Most of us would agree that trying to be funny but failing is far worse than doing nothing at all. Let’s chalk it up to the basic human need to be noticed.   Who was SUPER-FUNNY?   Bud Light differentiated why their flavorless beer is...

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Spotlight on Scott Morrison President, CX

Your marketing experience prior to joining DCI runs deep. Could you touch on some of the highlights?   I was lucky enough to get my start in the financial industry just as credit card marketing was catching fire in Delaware. It was there where I discovered that the marketing department was the place for me – energetic, fun and driving revenue (measurable). My next move was to the agency side where I led new business and strategy for Devon Direct and later The Martin Agency. Eventually, I co-founded Fulcrum Analytics to focus on CRM and predictive model-driven marketing.   What was your biggest takeaway from all of that experience?   I learned early that great relationships are what create great agencies. In the world of new business development, executive relationships are everything. The same can be said for a client’s marketing strategy. If you want to build sales overnight and your brand over-time, you must first...

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Embrace 2019 with Marketing Savvy. What will the new year bring us? That depends on what we bring to the new year. Looking back on 2018 as a 365-day learning experience, we have plenty of marketing knowledge to carry us forward. Consider these five facts as you finalize your 2019 marketing strategy.   Direct mail delivers:  In 2018, we saw an increased demand for oversized and dimensional mailers among our B2B clients. Smart marketers continue to invest in direct mail because the ROI is strong thanks to campaigns that are increasingly data-driven and micro-targeted. In addition, digital marketing overload has made direct mail more personal, novel and interesting, especially among Gen-Y audiences.   Video views are rising: This is a trend that shows no sign of slowing down. Adding video to a website or landing page keeps visitors engaged with your site longer which leads to two important outcomes – better connections with your audience...

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Spotlight On Angela Evans-Evans

How long with DCI and what brought you here? Angela: I’ve been here at Direct Choice for two years. Previously, I was a Senior Accountant for an affordable housing non-profit. Although rewarding, I eventually realized I need a position with a company that was less frenetic and overly stressful. That’s what led me here. What keeps you there? Angela: While I still take on responsibilities beyond accounting, I’ve always thrived at smaller companies. I prefer the friendly atmosphere and respect that everyone has for one another.   What’s the worst job you ever had? For me, it would be my first job as a dishwasher. Angela: I can’t say that any job, even retail work I had through college, was a negative for me. I’ve always learned something valuable and met great people throughout my working life. You have a very calm and composed quality, yet you live a very active life. Tell me a little about that. [caption...

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