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Direct Response Marketing

Support Services: DR Partnerships Can Be Fulfilling

1 Aug, 2017 By: Ayal Latz Response

I’ll never forget the first time we made our leap into direct response. More than a decade ago, a marketer from Atlanta approached us as he was searching for a local fulfillment partner to support their “As Seen on TV” campaign. Having been mainly focused on B-to-B at the time and looking for new verticals to explore, we were very excited about the opportunity and jumped right in.

While we enjoyed success with this campaign, we found it difficult to attract other clients in the space. We were still very one-dimensional and did not quite yet understand how DR worked. Those humble beginnings taught us the value in having a strong network of partners.

Since that first experience, we’ve had the pleasure of working with many of the people that make up this great industry. We’ve learned a lot, which has helped us develop and expand our internal offerings as well as create a strong ecosystem of solutions for marketers. No one does it all, but when you get a solid core of partners that have worked together, good things can happen.

If you’re looking to make a move into the DR space, here are a few suggestions on how to form those all-important partnerships:

  • Join the Industry Group(s): Alliances and associations have always been great for advocacy, education, and networking. You can do all the research you’d like, but plugging into these groups allows you to engage with some of the true veterans in the industry and learn its intricacies. For instance, we joined the DRMA close to 10 years ago and began networking at every turn. Thankfully, we connected with some terrific mentors early on that embraced our enthusiasm and helped us with building an initial client base.
  • Be Active: Don’t just write that membership fee check and sit back to wait on the leads to fall in your lap. Seek out a committee where you can add real value. Attend the shows and events to network with other members and find out the latest industry happenings. Mentor a new member (or be mentored). These are all great ways to get involved, stay educated, and continue to make valuable connections.
  • Get to Know Others: If you’re a supplier, spend time learning about your peers and their businesses. Understand what they offer and how your services can complement one another. As a fulfillment provider, we have many strong partnerships with other solution providers, including: production, media, campaign management, call centers, and payment processors. Relationships with these partners allow us to offer even greater value. For marketers utilizing all of our services, they can rest easy knowing that we are all integrated and have a familiar working relationship. As a marketer, you will obviously need strong supplier partnerships, but also be sure to seek out relationships with your marketer peers. One of the great benefits to this industry is that people are very willing to share knowledge and help one another. Take advantage of someone’s experience and be willing to reciprocate.
  • Seek Opportunities to Collaborate: Staying informed about what’s going on in the industry will ensure that you are meeting the challenges of the day. Be proactive and reach out to others to form innovative and collaborative solutions that will help you and your customers.

As my company heads into its 17th year in operation, it’s nice to look back on all the partnerships that have led to our success and growth as a company. And, business aside, I’m also thankful for the lifelong friends we’ve been able to make. ■

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