Steve Stuart’s direct marketing successes span hundreds of campaigns and years of experience.
Stuart’s first direct marketing position was list and data processing manager for a 3 million name co-op mailing in New York. Direct mail (as direct marketing was known then) was not yet taught as a formal discipline. Stuart was one of the first members of legendary Nat Ross’s DMIX (Direct Marketing Idea Exchange), the predecessor to the NYU direct marketing program. This program was the first educational program focused on direct marketing as we know it today.
Stuart then joined an upstate New York catalog company. For 3 years, he produced 10 catalogs annually and hundreds of solo mailings. Stuart selected merchandise, wrote copy, creative directed graphics, selected mailing lists, analyzed P&L results and managed all aspects of catalog marketing.
In 1976, Stuart joined Franklin Mint as a Marketing Director, the pivotal P&L position for product development, marketing, and advertising for launching and managing Franklin new products and campaigns. Over the next 4 years, Stuart’s team developed hundreds of new products and marketing campaigns. During that period, sales grew from $160 Million to $440 Million with the fast-paced, innovative strategies that made Franklin Mint the leading direct marketer of the century. Stuart’s last Franklin position was Vice President – Strategic New Ventures before appointment as Managing Director of the 1984 United States Olympic Coin program. He launched several direct marketing new operations including one that went from zero to $6 Million in less than two years.
Since 1986, Stuart has consulted for multiple BtoB and BtoC companies to improve sales growth using direct response marketing. With the adoption of the Internet and one-to-one communication with customers, using professional direct marketing principles and best practices based on customer life time values, is a business imperative.
Representative clients types include GEICO, SUREFIT, Greenwich Workshop, Danbury Mint, Pfaltzgraff, Topps Baseball Cards, MTB Bank, American BioSciences, ViaWest (INetU), Veterinary Publishing, Entergy, Radio Shack, Voice Powered Technology, and many others. Client engagements involve confidential issues, plans and financial information. Therefore we do not identify client names associated with specific work. The majority of work for clients is directly connected to management issues, direct marketing strategy, campaign creation and the P&L’s.
A few specific project engagements are listed below.
Developed new brand name, matching web site URL, and transactional web site for an existing jewelry product. Created national space advertising (concept, copy, art, media placement) that drove new buyers to web site at profitable cost per order.
For a prestige product sold in a multi-step sales cycle using direct marketing and telemarketing to better leverage advertising investments, Stuart analyzed customer Life Time Value by segment using the Claritas PRIZM system. Analysis confirmed the 80/20 rule, which allowed focusing advertising expenditures on the most productive targets to increase sales and profits.
Catalog Response Rate Solution
A 2,000,000 – buyer consumer product catalog response rates decreased, and traditional RFM list selection techniques became unacceptable. Stuart headed the project team creating a response predictive scoring model. The mailing list selection by model score enabled mailing fewer catalogs (at less advertising expense) while generating greater sales and profits. The Equifax Microvision system and demographic appending was used in the model and selection system.
Life Time Value Analysis
When a leading professional publisher direct mail campaigns suffered unprofitable response rates, Stuart created a customer Life Time Value Analysis. This research on repeat purchase patterns among buyers identified a key problem making clear the needed change improvements in strategy.
Marketing Planning Strategist
As a consultant, Stuart was Marketing Planning Director for a BtoB health care publisher for all campaigns. Two major catalog issues and approximately 100 solo campaigns were launched annually. Stuart also installed a more precise method for forecasting sales and prioritized advertising expenditures based on profit contribution and ROI.
New Product Development
A major direct marketing company engaged Stuart as a creative product development consultant to provide up to 12 new product concepts annually independent of client specifications. The objective was to produce creative “out of box” thinking versus internal staff developed work. Deliverables included product concept (reason for being and positioning), prototypes of finished products, prototype advertising, product specifications, and specifications production and purchasing.
Utility Company Facing A Competitive Marketplace
For a large utility company preparing for deregulation, Stuart created the situation analysis, marketing objectives and strategic summary for a comprehensive customer contact plan to build a brand image and increase customer loyalty.
Retail Joint Venture Problem
A promising joint venture between a direct sales organization and national retail store chain using in-store display kiosks did not produce sales. A firsthand, in the field examination of the problem quickly identified the cause. The solution was in using a different sales process model after consumers initiated contact with the kiosks.
Marketing Organizational Structure
A Wall Street private bank/ trading organization engaged Stuart to reorganized the marketing department structure, staffing and methods. A campaign based system with P&L results measurement and accountability was installed. The engagement scope was enlarged with Stuart being appointed interim VP MIS to upgrade all IT, staffing, hardware and software.
Engaged as interim Marketing Vice President for a California pre-IPO technology company, Stuart created the new product branding, advertising positioning and the initial product launch and marketing strategy. The product, “VCR Voice” was the first battery operated, hand-held voice recognition electronic product to control devices by voice. The brand sold nationally by direct marketing from radio spots driving inbound telemarketing, catalogs, and at retail until acquired by a larger company. Additionally Stuart was instrumental in public capital fund raising.
Stuart conducted the needs assessment, vendor selection, installation and training for a 45-person telemarketing system supporting inbound and outbound customer contact.
Software and Channel Marketing
Stuart created a direct mail campaign to generate sales leads for new software – hardware solution for internal package tracking. Stuart also created strategy for trade shows and managing channel marketing, branding and relationship partnering.