Kleinman Named Inaugural DRMA Member of the Year1 Dec, 2011 By: Thomas Haire Response
Response Magazine and the Direct Response Marketing Alliance (DRMA) is proud to announce that Curtis Kleinman, vice president of business development for Los Angeles-based Swipe Payment Solutions, has been named 2011 DRMA Member of the Year.
“Curtis’ dedication, commitment and tireless effort to grow and enhance the direct response industry and the DRMA makes him a worthy recipient of our first ever Member of the Year honor,” says John Yarrington, publisher of Response and co-founder of the DRMA. “On top of his hard work to make Swipe a leader in the payment processing sector of the DR business, Curtis has also worked tirelessly to promote an atmosphere conducive to great networking and education — both major tenets of the DRMA.”
Recently, Response sat down with Kleinman to get his thoughts on being named the DRMA’s inaugural Member of the Year, an honor that will be bestowed every coming December.
Q: What does it mean to you to be named the DRMA Member of the Year?
A: Being named the DRMA Member of the Year is the greatest achievement of my 27-year professional career. Being recognized by the DRMA for the intangible things Swipe Payment Solutions does shows us the DRMA is an organization truly committed to quality. It tells fellow DRMA members that Swipe can be trusted as a quality partner. I will hold Swipe Payment Solutions and myself to a higher standard — always.
Q: Why do you think your efforts and contributions to the DR business helped earn you this accolade?
A: From the minute I joined the DRMA, I’ve concentrated on making the business partners around me better. I’ve tried to fill any voids I could by sharing marketing ideas, contacts, industry education and employee referrals to help my fellow DRMA members. I aspire to, and want to see the direct response industry to go back to, old-fashioned values when it comes to service. Values like integrity, transparency, honesty and accessibility are extremely important. I concentrate on getting to know what long-term goals my business partners have, then helping them achieve them any way I can.
Q: How has the DRMA helped your business? What do you believe working with the DRMA does to create a better business atmosphere for you and the industry?
A: The DRMA has helped me gain traction and has been a perfect microphone to allow Swipe Payment Solutions’ messages to be broadcast to the DR community. The DRMA has been a mentor, advisor and friend to Swipe Payment Solutions, and its entire staff has always been attentive and extremely service-oriented to us.
Q: What was the most significant accomplishment in the past year for your company?
A: We’ve been extremely successful finding additional domestic and international banking partners, which translates into better rates and more choices for our customers. Our banking partners include direct offshore banks in the EU, Asia and Latin America, as well as domestic and offshore third-party IPSP providers. In conjunction with the industry’s cutting-edge technology companies, the flexibility to work with such a divergent banking and technology solutions network has allowed us to overcome obstacles prevalent among DR merchants. This fulfills our promise of being the one-stop shop for all merchant needs. Rapid Response was successfully launched to provide faster and more knowledgeable service. Swipe’s five-person support team members have between five and 20 years direct response/E-commerce experience.
Q: How did the successful products you worked with during the past year fit within the overall concept behind your company? Were any of those products so successful that they changed the way you do business? If so, how?
A: Several of our campaigns in skincare, household goods and fitness products grew very quickly and needed specialized attention and handholding, which created the need for our Rapid Response Team.
Q: What is your outlook for the next 12 months?
A: Swipe will continue to host mixers, sponsor many events, and be committed to the growth of our clients, business partners and all DRMA members. Although we currently have the most banking relationships in DR, we will increase the number of banks we offer.
Q: What vertical markets do you believe are best equipped to survive current economic issues — and even thrive — in 2012? Why?
A: Because Baby Boomers are maturing, goods and services marketed toward seniors are increasing. Companies that take the effort to sell globally should see increased growth. We see the Hispanic market growing as well, and it is Internet savvy and purchasing via DR. The key to this is building a network of globally trusted proven partners — from fulfillment companies to product vendors to web designers to marketing agencies and merchant processing vendors.