The Opportunity

Direct Marketing / Demand Generation

DS Graphics is a privately-held print optimization firm and promotional company established in 1974 in Lowell, MA. A few years back, they smartly recognized that printing companies needed to find new ways to do business or they risked going out of business. Their reaction to this harsh reality was a commitment to using current technology to help streamline the print supply chain, thus creating efficiencies, cost savings and value-added services. Today’s technology allows them to help companies communicate effectively with their business partners and resellers world-wide while shrinking costs. Unfortunately, DS Graphics had been seen as “just a printer” in the marketplace. They approached North Star to come up with a way to introduce their print optimization capabilities to prospects and convey that this could save them hundreds of thousands of dollars.

High Impact Mailer

High Impact Mailer 

The Solution

Together with DS Graphics, North Star developed a demand generation campaign that aligned marketing and sales to go after C-suite decision makers, and this campaign ultimately grew to be the model and inspiration for our integrated campaigns. A high impact mailer was developed by marketing that was the size of, and styled like, an old boom box from the 80’s. The goal for this piece was to be large and impactful enough to make it past very talented gatekeepers. On the inside, was an iPod Nano, along with messaging that spoke to targets about technology’s ability to shrink everything, including the cost of preparing and distributing marketing collateral and training materials on a world-wide basis. The mailer also included an invitation to attend a no-cost, no-obligation, 25-minute educational executive briefing on key findings and industry trends regarding how technology can streamline the Print Supply Chain.

After the mailers had been delivered, North Star worked with the inside sales team who began calling the 240 recipients as a follow up and invite them to the briefing. The briefing was given by key team members from marketing and sales. The the call team achieved a 47% conversion rate with 112 executives attending the briefing. At the conclusion of the one-on-one briefings, the executive was asked if they wanted to participate in a facilitated exercise to have the DS sales team perform an audit of the current operating environment to determine what level of cost savings would be possible by using technology more effectively. The DS sales team conducted 42 of these assessments, whose deliverable was a business case with suggestions and best practices for the company to consider in an effort to improve what they were currently doing in print supply chain management. Once the business case was presented, sales asked permission to put a proposal together.

The Results

Ultimately, this campaign helped shift DS Graphics’ positioning from being just a printer to a consultative resource.

  • 240 enterprises became aware DS Graphics was not “just a printer”
  • 47% response rate to the briefing invitation
  • 112 conversations started with ideal prospects
  • 13 new customers generated (with 2 pending)
  • Over $10 million in new revenue

"Integrated campaigns are successful because it’s an end to end process that is very systematic. It creates an efficient marketing and sales sequence right from the very beginning of targeting the right companies that a company wants to have as new clients, educating them about something that will help their business without selling anything to them, and then, helping them assess how the new solution can either create efficiencies, save them money, or generate revenue for them – and base the entire sales proposal on a return on investment."

Todd GrantVP of Business Development at DS Graphics