DRMA Spotlight: A Processing Partnership That Pays Off7 Sep, 2011 By: Jackie Jones Response
For Litle & Co., payment processing is never a one-stop shop. Rather, the Lowell, Mass.-based company believes the biggest success comes from a long-term view of not only the data and analytics behind payments, but also an overall focus on the relationship between a marketer and consumer — from the very first transaction forward.
And with a client list boasting some of the biggest names in direct response — including Guthy-Renker Corp., Savvier and Ontel Products Corp. — Direct Response Marketing Alliance (DRMA) member Litle & Co. obviously has the right idea.
“Litle’s best attribute is examining and improving the lifetime value of a consumer. The cost of acquisition for every DR merchant will continue to rise, and the key for Litle & Co. is to improve the number of successful authorizations so the lifetime value of any customer continues uninterrupted over time,” says Jason Pavona, executive vice president of product, sales and marketing. “What Litle & Co. specializes in is making sure that the front-end part of that relationship between you and your consumer — the purchase transaction — happens. We provide a variety of data, transactional intelligence, and security-related payment processing services both when that first transaction occurs and over the lifetime of the billing relationship with that consumer to help you manage the process and ensure the experience is a positive one for all involved.”
Litle & Co. was founded in 2001 with direct marketers specifically in mind, from the agile technology platform to the merchant services team to the actionable payments intelligence the payment processor provides to merchants, according to Pavona.
“We’ve spent the past 10 years building the organization and focusing on how to help merchants strategically look at their businesses from the standpoint of how to better manage payments, how to get better actionable intelligence and how to build technology that never ages,” he says, adding that the company works very differently than most by revisiting its product roadmap every 30 days, rather than every few years.
“We discuss and determine what the top priorities are every 30 days and assign development and engineering resources accordingly,” Pavona says. “It allows us to be incredibly flexible and to constantly introduce relevant new reporting features, products and services. More importantly, it allows us to address the constantly changing environment to bring our partners the best possible solutions. If you need something we don’t have today, it’s really only a month or two months away.”
As the cost of doing business for direct response merchants increases over time, each customer becomes more and more valuable, Pavona says. As a processor, Litle & Co.’s goal is to ensure that your relationship with a customer is one in which communication never stops.
“Whether it’s through services like automated account updater or providing security processes through our tokenization service, it’s really about helping marketers understand that there is a great amount of data information, products and services that they can bring to bear on their business to increase revenue and operational efficiencies,” Pavona says. “If you’re not working with a processor that understands that, it’s very difficult to ever improve your business.”
And like with everything in DR, a focus on analytics is crucial to a business’ growth, Litle & Co. believes. The best merchants have a drive for data and want to make sure they’re maximizing everything they can around marketing spend, Pavona notes.
“What Litle does with payments intelligence is help companies drive efficiencies with their business to understand what the data means, but more importantly, how to act on it,” Pavona says. “What we’re really doing is building a system that allows our clients to act on data and information, and provide them with a roadmap on how to improve their business both on the revenue side and on the cost-efficiency side.”
The regulatory environment is constantly changing, and it’s something Litle & Co. keeps a close eye on. “The key for us as your processor is making sure you understand how changes affect not only your offer but also how your relationship with your consumer might change or how it can affect your cost structure,” Pavona says. “Making sure you’re working with a processor that can help you take advantage of that information is key and allows you to look at the information that is coming through your payment stream and make a difference.”
Pavona believes that, moving forward, direct response will become even more about watching how the cost of acquisition ties to the longevity of a customer relationship.
“You want the payment process to not only be fluid but also remain in place over time so that it doesn’t cause degradation of your brand or in the consumer experience you’re receiving,” Pavona says. “What Litle does is spend a lot of time making sure that that relationship with the consumer remains consistent while helping you understand how that relationship can be improved, whether through the actionable payments intelligence delivered through our merchant services teams or the technology that we bring to bear in order to bring products and services to the market as quickly as possible.” ■
Litle & Co. — an independent authority in card-not-present (CNP) commerce, transaction processing and merchant services — powers the payment processing engines for companies that sell directly to consumers through multichannel and Internet retail, direct response marketing (TV, radio and telephone), and online services.
Location: 900 Chelmsford St.
Lowell, MA 01851
Phone: (978) 275-6500