I recently had the privilege to travel with our VP of Sales, Chad Wauters, and Josh Moses, our Michigan and Central New York territory manager. We went and visited six clients in two and a half days in the New York area.
My wonderful and kind CEO, Jim Jr., asked me to bring back three things to report from a marketing point of view. I think I have seven, but I tend to over-analyze so let’s cover my top three that regard client relationships and our company. (I could blog about traveling with Chad and Josh – what a story that is!)
1. Mudd is so much more than mail.
I need to help build awareness of what exactly Mudd can do for the automotive clients we serve. Sure, mail is one of the most successful traditional drivers we have, and because of the massive volume we work with, our rates are probably the most aggressive in the market today.
But, mail is only one piece of a very large Mudd Advertising pie. We have more than 160 employees and we all have our specialties. Mail is an important driver, but it’s not the only answer by itself. We actually create mail content and format based on what we are trying to achieve. We have a list/data department that is unbelievably strategic. Not only in working with prospect lists, but the pulling of DMS lists and thorough cleansing process. They have so many checks and balances – and they have to. We have national manufacturer partners and some of them have several dealers within a certain radius of each other. We have to be on top of our game and make sure the integrity of each list meets our high standards.
The pulling and strategy process of the list is the first step because it is key for the final reports. I know I am jumping past all the departments involved in the middle, but at the end – that original list – email and mail – goes to our interactive division who works with data services to cross-run the original effort with the sales and service data at the end to create an entire analysis for our clients. Dollar for dollar we report what went where and who did what. And for the manufacturers, we create individual performances, regional and national and benchmark against the goals. We are so much more than mail.
We have an entire agency division dedicated to long-term strategy solely focused on automotive dealerships large and small. We have the Muddville production division – full of creative writers, producers and editors creating top-notch national video content for the web and TV. We produce MuddTV.com and stream live educational shows for dealerships. We also have email marketing, digital and traditional media buying divisions. We have an upper level floor dedicated to our developers and graphic designers building the most amazing software tools, allowing clients to fully track everything. (And what a blog that will be when we roll out our new software analytic tools – so excited!)
We even have a sign company. Mudd Signs is on our campus serving our local community and our national clients. They print indoor and outdoor signage, vinyl, yard signs – and the POP they do – unbelievable. I was amazed that while I was in New York and returned, they had a national campaign and single-handedly printed and sorted 2,508 banners, 94,500 car tags, 10,000+ posters, 9,800 window clings and 95,000 balloons. They then logistically shipped them to 2,508 dealerships nationwide with them receiving them on the day needed. Nice. Gung Ho guys. Yep. Mudd is more than mail. I need to make this known because many dealerships engage in the “Try Us” phase. We work with dealerships on many diverse levels of service.
I may be rambling, but I felt a wave come over me when I heard more than one person comment on Mudd being direct mail. I haven’t begun to talk about our marketing department and the PR, social and strategy plans we help develop for our clients. What a wakeup call for me. I need to be more effective and work harder to educate our industry clients on the full possibilities we offer for different levels of client engagement.
Between automotive, academics and agriculture – we have worked with more than 3,200 clients this year. Some work with us here and there with mail. Many work with us monthly and use Brandcasting, email and mail. And there is a growing number that have so much success, they turn to us for full partnership in their advertising strategy. I need to bridge these so they know exactly what we have.
And that was only my first takeaway from my trip. Coming up in part 2: Dealers Need to Diversify