Marketing Through an Economic Downturn

May 5, 2023 • Posted by Michelle

Marketing during an economic downturn is not only key to company survival, but provides opportunities to be harnessed. Do you want to know how to market effectively in challenging times?

    • Learn strategies to stay afloat
    • Capture market share
    • Thrive during even the toughest economic time

Our three experts have nearly 100 years of marketing experience combined:

    • Brad Kugler, CEO/Co-Founder of DirectMail2.0
    • Morgan DiGiorgio, SVP Sales & Marketing of DirectMail2.0
    • Joy Gendusa, Founder/CEO of PostcardMania

Our special guest Joy Gendusa has taken her company through a number of pivots and transformations, but she was faced with the ultimate business test during the 2008 economic crisis. Joy will share her entrepreneurial journey and the massive lessons she’s learned along the way, plus there will be time for Q&A.

Discover how to make the most of challenging times! Want to learn more? Email us at!



and but we are super excited to get this panel going


um in full disclosure I know that people have asked many times you know what’s


the relationship between dm2o and postcard Mania so so my esteemed partner


and I guess part-time boss Joy Gendusa as a person


is an investor into Direct Mail 2.0 but postcard main is its own thing and she’s


been doing this since 1998. um before that joy and I’s history go back


a little further even we met in the early 90s she actually worked for my


father when we had a VHS Distribution Company and she happened to be one of the best buyers sales people her and her


then husband would travel around and and they beat all the records for that company at that time so Joy has always


been even since her early where you were in the early 20s then no I was I was about 25. okay so yeah


that’s right because when I came into the company I was about 22 or 23 Joy had just left to have her uh gorgeous little


first-born son Zach who I remember seeing at when my daughter went to


preschool years later this was probably the late 90s and he was this cutest little kid in the school and he was


Macaulay Culkin but cuter you know so anyways enough gloating on that it looks


like we’ve got a good crowd in here so Joy is the founder and CEO of postcard Mania she’s been doing that since 1998.


um we are going to start with Morgan Morgan is our VP sales and marketing at Direct Mail 2.0 who most of you probably


get emails from maybe more than you like to but that’s the way it is so Morgan’s


been here now what four years 2018. five years you’re going on five years


okay she’s had to put out with me for almost five years


all right so somebody’s got to do it yes and she’s very very good at putting up


with me actually so is Joy yeah you know what Brad you’re not that big of a handful no no you’re actually


questioning with my wife I agree I agree actually the word she uses is annoying


I guess a lot of a lot of spouses will claim that of their other spouse or partner so that’s cool


anyways um so we’re here to talk about marketing through an economic downturn this is


this is obviously very relevant today I think that we’re going to within hours


if it hasn’t happened already have the announcement from the Federal Reserve that they’re increasing interest rates again that you know obviously has an


effect on all businesses and all spending because everybody’s got debt and everybody gets affected by this so


you know we’re really here to discuss how do you manage that what do you


really do so joy and I have had the the pleasure or opportunity to have been through


three maybe four of these things Joy’s a hatch older than me so she may remember


  1. I know that she was starting her business in early 2000s during that one


and obviously she was doing what she’s doing in 2008 and here we are again in 2023 with another round so we’ve got a


lot of recessionary marketing experience happening here and uh I want to like let


Morgan get started with a little bit of Show and Tell She’s got some great stats and things to show so Morgan over to you


thank you yeah I just wanted to lay a little bit of foundation here um and then we’re going to turn it over to Joy


she’s been so gracious to join us today and she’s got a ton of experience to share with us and I’m really looking


forward to that so thank you Joy um Morgan but I thought I was going to be asked questions I don’t have a


presentation no you are you are yes Morgan Morgan


going on is going to ask questions for sure yes


yes thank you thank you yes um okay so uh first things first a


little bit of foundation here Henry Ford said it best stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch


to save time quite an impactful statement in my opinion now during an


economic downturn the best advice I could personally give you is to do not


stop marketing I know businesses are going to seek ways to cut costs but marketing shouldn’t be one of them think


about it if cash flow is tight and you remove the source that was driving leads in Revenue you will end up having even


less working capital to run your business than you had before you cut the marketing now there are also companies


that will not only continue marketing but will increase or even double their expenditures waiting and ready to seize


all of the opportunities that were left open for grabs by the comp companies that chose to pull back on or even quit


their marketing altogether and if you’re one of these companies you’re going to have the opportunity to capture


significant market share and take advantage of lower ad costs while you’re doing it because there’s less demand


which actually drives advertising spend down you see marketing is a long game


it’s a marathon not a Sprint and so in addition to capturing abandoned market


share if you keep marketing you are going to get such a head start on competitors and it will be very


challenging once the non-marketers emerge to even catch up with you now if no one is buying then it doesn’t matter


right well I say wrong of course in a recession there will be a lull in sales


by some demographics but even dormant customers research and make purchasing decisions long before they make the


actual transaction so companies that continued marketing and reaching consumers in the period when they


couldn’t make a purchase are the ones they will reach out to first when they can because they’re going to be top of


mind so um so you don’t have to take my word for it I wanted to lay out a few examples


from over the last hundred years that will depict exactly what I’m talking about so companies uh that marketed


during the economic downturns first example during the Great Depression post was the category leader in the ready to


eat cereal category they decided to cut back on their advertising budget why the Rival Kellogg’s doubled its advertising


spend uh they introduced their new cereal Rice Krispie treats they had this catchy you know snap crackle pop phrase


and Kellogg’s profits grew by 30 percent they became the category leader and they


maintained that position for decades so this is a prime example of getting that


Head Start by marketing through these economic downturns and it was something that just wasn’t recoverable by post now


uh McGraw-Hill ran a study on 600 businesses who continue to advertise


during the early 1980s recessions and they found that those businesses were 256 percent ahead of their competitors


who didn’t advertise during the 1990-91 recession McDonald’s


decided to drop its advertising and promotion budget Pizza Hut and Taco Bell decided to seize this opportunity by


increasing theirs and it paid dividends to the tune of 61 increase in sales for Pizza Hut and 40 percent increase for


Taco Bell while McDonald’s sales declined 28 percent


uh last example during the 2000 recession uh Target increase its


marketing and sales expenditures by 20 over pre-recession levels which resulted in a 40 increase in sales and a 50


increase in profits over the course of the recession so you might say Okay Morgan well these


are huge corporations and we don’t have the marketing budgets of these companies which is true but you also don’t have


the demographic or niche of those organizations either and the with the right marketing strategy and appropriate


budget that aligns with your demographic or Niche you could position yourself in the same types of favorable scenarios


for your market now there are tons of tips and strategy for marketing during an economic downturn that I could dive


into but for the sake of time and I I really want to get over to Joy as she has a lot of experience to share with us


I’m going to stick to Three core things Okay so uh first things first Target core


customers there’s data that reflects that even a five percent increase in customer retention can increase company


Revenue by 25 to 95 percent if anybody is going to make a purchase from you during a tough Economic Times it’s your


existing customers keep your business top of mind and prevent opportunities


for other businesses to get their attention uh marketing customer loyalty programs with promotions or incentives


are a strong tactic that will keep customers happy and buying not to mention that nurturing these relationships pays off because they have


the power to influence purchasing decisions and potential new customers uh word of mouth and referrals uh is


probably one of the best sources of business that you could have um Also let’s not forget that we can


create opportunities for additional revenue streams by marketing and selling to existing customers other products and


services that they don’t already purchase from you you already have their attention their business their loyalty


and it should be an easy target next is building brand awareness a


strong brand is the most valuable asset you can have in a recession it’s the best insurance policy you can buy it’s


essential for standing out from competitors and for building trust with customers additionally marketing has a


reflection on your organization as a whole a company that is seen anywhere and everywhere is going to have a


perceived higher value and the legitimacy than a company that nobody’s ever heard of and when money is scarce


consumers are very careful how they spend their dollars and who they spend them with people want to be sure they


are buying from reputable and well-known brands for consumers today uh reputation


and brand awareness are created and nurtured basically in the marketing realm and and this is where this is all


starting and that’s why marketing is so important especially during an economic downturn


last strategy that I’m going to hone in on is to prioritize Roi driven marketing


now marketing obviously requires uh if you’re in a recession to be more cost efficient so the idea here though is to


maintain sales and revenue while we’re being cost efficient we don’t want to slash the budget but we want to optimize


the media mix and we want to invest in the channels that are performing well and there’s a ton of strategy and I


don’t have time to get into it all but if anybody’s on the webinar today and they want to take more of a deep dive


into this I will post my contact information at the end please feel free to reach out to me if you just want to


pick my brain or if you have some questions I would be happy to help so


um for the time being though I wanted to point out the benefit of omnichannel marketing with digitally enhanced direct


mail this is the perfect marriage of both offline and online worlds where the


two can work together effectively to drive massive Roi and in some of the most cost effective ways possible


we know I know the printers on the call today are on our webinar we know what a powerful marketing channel Direct Mail


is the brand recall response rates High Roi I’m a huge advocate for direct mail


and I could go on and on but the primary purpose here is that we want to harness the power of that channel and repeat


that message from the mail inexpensively across multiple channels and doing this


drives astronomical results in fact stat show purchase frequency is 250 percent


higher on omnichannel versus single Channel so extremely powerful marketing strategy


and here at Direct Mail 2.0 we actually have a platform that does this where we


integrate up to 13 different Technologies onto a direct mail campaign for pennies per mail piece and printers


all over the country white label or platform and this has proven to be a significant Revenue stream for them and


a way to grow their business so if you’re interested in learning more about that or platform please reach out to me


about that too uh next is the importance of leveraging


data by analyzing data on consumer Behavior you can make informed decisions


on where to allocate your marketing budget and what messaging will resonate with your audience and and this can be


taken from either internal CRM data or even smart pixel technology like our


lead match pixel we actually have a pixel in particular that identifies


website visitors how they got to the website for example which channel actually drove them there uh it provides


their contact information their behavior on the site so you can create some super targeted personalized and really high


response rates uh by marketing to the right people at the right place at the right time and with the right message


and you also have the ability to track attribution from your marketing channels


which is super important in times of economic downturn because we have less


budget right so by honing in on this data you will know what is working and what isn’t and we can continuously


improve our campaigns and our budget allocation um last thing uh for any of our partners


that are interested in some key markets uh to solicit marketing services for here’s a list of industries that thrive


during economic downturns so I would be having your marketing and sales teams putting some extra attention on these


verticals any of our partners on the call today you know schedule a call with your MSC and let’s do a strategy call on


how we can put together a self-promo campaign uh and start reaching out to some of these verticals so that’s all


I’ve got today um and I’m going to turn it over now to Brad and Joy thank you so much Morgan very good


research um I’ve actually already had two or three people ask are we going to share the deck we always share the deck we


always share the video anyone that’s interested we will anyone that registered will get a copy of the deck


so that’s automatic with all of our webinar series um another thing I wanted to mention I


think I don’t know how many of them here we went to inkjet Summit last week in Austin but it was great and we had some


very esteemed industry experts that all sort of touted a very similar thing one


upgrading your technology and your variable data print equipment which obviously is called inkjet Summit so I’m


that was that was foregone however another common theme was


combining your print marketing with Omni Channel marketing it’s if you hate them


to say that and we did that was stressed by almost every expert that was speaking at that event which was great because it


drove a lot of interest in what we’re doing um it’s it’s kind of like I I liken it


back to the internet and having a website in the late 90s early 2000s was like okay okay I need this do I not need


this now if you aren’t doing it you’re actually behind the times so this is now a product or service that you almost


have to have which is great for business I I won’t belabor that anymore so let’s


get on to our esteemed guest here Joy who I already introduced but I have some questions for her she is


obviously a leader in the industry of direct mail marketing she does


omnichannel marketing she is very very technology Savvy for everything in her


shop which is it big what do you have joy 50 60 100 000 square feet now on the roof no probably about 78 78 000. that’s


tiny but what three variable print machines there and obviously you sell


Omni Channel marketing so so we are all of the same the same Viewpoint here but let’s start


with a formal question so Joy you’re personally gone through the 2000 2008


and experiencing this current downturn in 2000 you were just starting out you


were a new business you’re what two years old at that point can you tell us about how you navigated that and you


obviously excelled during that time can you take us back to that time period you know what’s really interesting is like I


don’t even remember that it was an economic downturn in 2000 I know that after 9 11 happened in 2001 that that


was a little crazy after that I don’t recall to you know like in 2000 when I


was Tiny I just marketed like a psychopath you know I just marketed way more than any


any sane person would think was like a a normal amount to Market but yet that


Viewpoint from day one of running my company has gotten us to where we are today and I mean maybe not everybody


knows who we are I mean I don’t I don’t know what you know about postcard Mania the people who are on your your who are


listening but you know we I started in 1998 um I’ve taken no capital from anybody I


grew postcard Mania really bootstrapped it we have about 350 staff now and we’ll


with postage will break 100 million this year yeah wow very strong so when you


first started out you didn’t really have any equipment you would Outsource your print jobs yeah what was your first way


you started marketing when you first opened your doors in 1998 how did you get your first customer


postcards I mean you know we I mean the first when postcard Mania was formed I I


grew out of I had a small agency and I had business Word of Mouth business in our little neck of the woods here in


Clearwater and I’ve been running that business for a few years and I was trying to figure out how could I scale this how could I I felt like I could


never scale that type of business I was I was brokering printing and doing graphic design work and I had a handful


of of staff and um and then when I formed postcard Mania


initially what we did is we bought a CD from Office Depot that had it was


like a Yellow Pages CD and I taught I didn’t Target by industry I targeted


geographically I targeted US 19 and Gulf to Bay Boulevard 60 in our area and then


I kind of saw who responded to that marketing I mean I didn’t know anything about marketing back then I just knew that you had to get the word out and you


had to get it out in volume that was what was real to me at that time so you know then I just started tweaking it and


tweaking it and tweaking it but I started mailing to promote postcard Mania from the first week postcard Mania


existed I always practice what I preach I mail I use multi chat I sell multi-channel


marketing Omni Channel marketing I use omnichannel marketing but excellent I you are definitely one


that does what you preach for sure a thousand percent and I think that’s one of the most authentic things so I should


probably tell everybody I mail 190 000 postcards to promote postcard Mania every single solitary week and I’ve


never missed a week of course I didn’t start with 190 000 pieces back then I did a thousand pieces a week then 2500


pieces a week then 5 000 pieces a week but in 25 years I honestly have never ever ever ever missed a week hurricane


uh whatever’s going on in the world I never missed a week covet never did I


not send the mail so that I mean that is probably one of the most unique things that I’ve ever heard in terms of someone


who’s marketing their commercial print business you know that that alone differentiates you from anything I’ve


ever heard and we talked to a lot of printers and we’ve never met one I’m not a commercial printer I’m not a commercial person


I am a marketer and I’m a marketing as a marketing company we just print in-house


right okay you’re right we don’t go out and sell commercial printing we have you know we use three


different stocks and and we have a handful of products and that’s it you know we don’t custom


you know custom jobs right so so let me ask you when you have customers that you


know you’ve got a wide variety of customers and something like 100 and some different verticals and they must


talk to sales people and they complain or say hey times are tough you know


we’re just not getting as many customers now the money’s tight I’m cutting expenses what do your sales team how do


they respond to that on the phones with your clients they generally will talk about what we’ve done and our successes


in marketing through an economic downturn because because we practice what we preach we can say listen this is


what we did and it everything that Morgan was saying is like we did exactly what she


was saying literally you know during covid when


um all of our competitors were not marketing like nobody was marketing we


were getting all the leads so we didn’t cut our marketing budget at all I just basically didn’t pay anything except


payroll and marketing that’s the only thing I would spend money on is payroll and marketing and I just thought you


know tell with that I I I will if I have to dig into my reserves I’ll dig into my reserves but right now all ye vendors


they’re all gonna just wait so I just paid Market paid for marketing so Google got my money the US Postal


Service got my money and um and my payroll and that was pretty much all I paid for that short period it was about


five weeks and um and we we basically


we were up ten percent in 2020 because our competitors were not we’re not marketing so we just we just tell this


that’s what we say to the people calling us we say look you’re calling us on the phone obviously you have a need


right and one of the things I know about you because we’ve known each other for so long I’ve never seen or known of you to do


massive cost cutting or layoffs in the 30 years I’ve known you how when


obviously sometimes things get tight what have you done in tight times to cut


costs I mean have you ever done anything uh I’ve never done anything Let’s cross


my fingers and prayed um you know recently in in this last you


know where we are right now today we decided that we’re going to automate as much as possible I mean that was another


thing that you said was brought up you know at the show that you were at um what can we automate that and and


we’re not going to let people go but we’re going to automate certain positions that can that don’t need a


human on them and when that when somebody leaves we’re not going to replace them so we went from


369 staff to 335 staff and we haven’t missed a beat and it’s all from automation we haven’t let go we had we


didn’t let anyone go we just attrition it’s like when people left they just weren’t replaced yeah that makes sense I


mean that that’s a testament that is rarely heard I mean I’ll I’ll be honest I’ve had businesses with 50 60 employees


and if there was a downturn you know we we cut payroll which was painful but it


was a necessary evil there was in 2008 we did have all the VPS only the VPS


none of the staff take a pay cut for until we could get


them back and and then we made them whole so we did have our the core people


that you know that are here for life that are all still here um basically they were like okay I can I


can live if you if you take this much out you know and then we when we made them whole it makes total sense so I’m


starting to get a bunch of questions in and I love these questions guys please continue to post them in the Q a


um not in the chat because then I’ll I’ll mark them and bring them up but I’m going to hold those to a little bit


later once I get through some of the pre-written questions


um all right so the next question is do you see or notice any difference between


the Landscapes today and the start of 2008 which I know from our personal


exchanges 2008 was difficult um do you do you notice any similarities


or differences that from your experience as a business person business owner well my business is in a much different


place now than it was in 2008 so I am in a much more stable place financially


than I was in 2008. so for me that was that one was a much further


um economic downturn than this one I’m not feeling this one personally at all uh our numbers were okay last year we


were up 14 for the year we’re only about up eight percent for the year right now


um so you know I I it’s like I can’t really complain about that


um but in 2008 I had to review I mean I wasn’t as


sophisticated as I am now so I in in 2008 I literally looked at all my entire


client base and I realized that 46 of our customers in 2008 were mortgage


brokers so yeah so we said okay who you


know who are we going to how what are we going to do so we that was when that’s the first time we said who’s searching


for us on Google so we went through our entire database and we looked at who’s finding us via Google what are the industries they’re in what are the


marketing campaigns that we’re going to now do to those Industries specifically um to to bolster


um you know those other Industries up to where mortgage was so we we were down in 2009 about 15 it’s honestly the only


year in my history that we were down revenue-wise and in 2010 we then hit


another highest ever um you know over 2008. um by by just diversifying our marketing


great that’s really really good advice um are you guys currently investing in


any new technology and if so what presses infrastructure to further


automate your business oh these are these are good questions and if I had my senior exec team here they’d be going


don’t answer that question yes


okay we’ll leave it at that I mean there are competitors on there so I understand


I can tell you I can tell you what we’re doing it’s totally fine I’m happy to share I’m happy to share there’s so much


business out there one of the things about me that’s probably different than most business owners is like I am


willing to share whatever because you know even if I even if there’s like 100 of you listening to me right now I


don’t know how many people are on this call but let’s say there’s 100 people listening to me right now at maybe they’ll be like


two that that will actually try to do what I’m actually going to say so I’m


not too concerned ah go for it uh what what we’re doing now is we’re investing


in uh PCM or postcard Mania Integrations and that’s our API and uh e-commerce


area where we are uh connecting to other


sellers let’s say um or doing an API with other other sellers that are


selling data perhaps and um we probably have about 40 active Partners now that are selling


direct mail and we’re providing it and we’re providing all the infrastructure for it so that’s fantastic you know and


and that there’s a lot of work that goes into building that so I understand and I did want to bring up a little story of a


conversation I had with joy I think it was almost 20 years ago at this point oh my God I don’t know what it is well no


you’ll remember when I tell you um I think it was one of our local friends was asking you about the


postcard marketing business and because they wanted to start their own and I came to you and I said Joy explain why


you’re helping someone in our own Community here be a competitor against you I was just so perplexed by this


openness I I called you directly and you’re like there is so much business


there you know why not help someone honestly I’m far enough ahead where I’m


not worried and I want to pay back and it was such a mind-blowing Viewpoint for me it actually changed my


way of doing business because I used to be like other guys I’m going to tell you what you’re doing you can’t know what I’m doing it’s all secret and I’ve gone


completely the other direction and it’s so freeing I don’t know I don’t know I I


had no idea that I impacted you with that honestly hugely and I think it was about almost 20 years ago yeah it was


probably in I think we were on um MLK at that time so I think it was we


moved building in 2000 and we moved into that building in 2006


so it was probably like 18 years ago yeah I think you’re right because my brother my youngest brother and I and


our a legacy business we used to argue about security and privacy and what we said


and it just drove me crazy how security conscious he was like there’s like 30 million companies I


know in the U.S I only have a hundred and twelve thousand of them or something like that I don’t know 109 or whatever


it is so it’s like there’s so much business out there for everybody you


know to succeed and honestly if you can duplicate and exceed my business based


on what I’m telling you well then you deserve it and you deserve it and I deserve the the not being able to compete so


anyways I just wanted to point that out we’ll go to the next question we’ve got a growing list of questions coming on


the Q a so I want to try to get through as much as we can um what channels for marketing have you


found most or more effective during a downturn and did you change anything and how you acquire new customers you sort


of mentioned that when you stop marketing for new mortgage customers during a downturn anything in terms of


channels or marketing Technologies um well you know back then there was only direct mail so we didn’t we there


was no change in technology now um I am such a big believer in direct


mail I will never cut the mail I don’t even care if you can attribute more of our business or more of our leads from


you know Google or PPC or whatever it is I will never ever ever cut the mail


um we have found that when we we have cut the mail we did it twice in our history by not a lot but we cut the mail


business goes down and then we quickly put it back it’s happened twice and that’s what happened you know in um


the covid situation was just that I mean I’m sending out 190 000 postcards


that’s a chunk of change that’s a chunk of change every single solitary week I’m sure everyone on this call could do the


math in their head and somebody somebody on my team very high on my team looked at me and


said I think we should maybe you know for a few weeks and I just gave them the death


stairs I just looked at them and I was like No And I I honestly it was the most


stressed out I ever was was it was those five weeks and I realized you know I


just went I’m not going to do it I’m not going to do I’m not going to cut the mail in terms of multi-channel I will I


am so passionate about multi-channel marketing that we


I mean I have programs not only for my customers to how am I going to increase


my my customer database of users of omnichannel it’s probably about 25


percent only and I just it drives me insane because


I know that the like my my clients are small business owners for the most part small to medium and I know that if they


succeed it really they can improve the economy they’re hiring more people they’re not laying off people they’re


spending money the the money that will go into the economy if they win and so


omnichannel not only helps in my company I mean I could I would never cut my Omni


Channel I would never change I would never change that in any economic downturn because all of it


matters and you can’t really pinpoint one one piece of technology that outperforms another piece of technology


it’s the combination of of those ads the direct mail always the direct mail and


because the direct mail adds legitimacy it adds it’s like something that they’re


holding in their hand you can never do it without direct mail so when you’re you know if you’re talking to clients and you’re afraid oh if I bring up


omnichannel what do I need direct mail for I’m going to just go online no they will cut their they’ll slit their own


throat and you need to understand that for yourself you should be doing it for your own business so that you can live


it so that when you live it you can sell it does that make sense absolutely listen you’re preaching to the choir


here I’m hoping everybody else is listening here I know right right let me go to the next question which I can


probably answer myself but I’ll let you answer it what would you say are the most important hires during a recession


or a downturn I mean for do you want to answer it I mean my my it’s always sales and


marketing for me you know you’ve pretty much already answered that a few times you know this


time also technology I mean we’re we’re you know it’s really interesting it’s like all these tech companies are are


laying people off because during the the covid year and a half when people were home or the two years that people were


working from home all this technology came up and now they have to go back to normal because people are kind of back to normal now so it sounds like they’re


just laying people off but it’s really they’re just going back to like normal life um we really didn’t change fortunately


for us we were deemed essential and we were able to stay open and you know plus


we’re in Florida so those two things together were very you know fortunate for postcard Mania in other cities and


countries it was not like that um if you didn’t have if you were in a male house if you’re not a male house you were not necessarily deemed to send


pill so um you know it’s just really we were just really really fortunate and and now


there’s all this this Tech Personnel out there and we’re like scoop them scoop them now you know yeah that’s a good one


no they’re not cheap but I I agree investing in technology and sales and marketing are the three biggest things


you can be doing um you know the technology investment may take a little longer to pay off you


don’t always hit a home run with every sales guy you hire and you have to keep rotating through them so uh and


marketing is a constant trial and error you know so there’s I mean it’s a classic trial and error but you you know


you do find what works for you like for us yes we test new ideas and sometimes they’re you know bombs and they don’t


work but we we’ve been doing it once you’ve been doing it for so long you know what message resonates with your


target market and you’ve tested everything and you know it’s like you can kind of glom onto a winner and it


lasts for quite a long time absolutely which is a perfect segue into a question from John I will not butcher your last


name and pronouncing it but he is the uh managing director of the Wisconsin


direct marketing Association and he is a big proponent of testing and you talk


about testing he says here while you’re presenting I looked at your case studies


and I looked at dozens and dozens on your website I trust many which suggest genuine testing or incremental effects


why not uh he is okay I’ll tell you why not I mean we’re


dealing with small business owners we’re dealing with companies when we’re talking to them on the phone it’s like


we’re not in we’re not dealing with these big large Enterprise companies that have ad agencies and budgets


we’re just trying to get them to do something to do anything it’s going to go like we’re gonna test


this and test that and see which one’s better we’re just like no this is the this is your best opportunity to get a


result do you want to do it you know it once in a while we do do tests with more


sophisticated companies but most of our customers are not sophisticated enough


to want to spend the money to test I I get it I understand it is not an easy thing to


all right so we won’t believe at that point I have a bunch of questions uh John Cassidy says I’m and again this is


you if this is too much behind the curtains you are free to say that uh he


has I’m curious to know if postage is a revenue generator for PCM or just a pass-through cost it would be


interesting to see what other companies are doing this line item on there as well okay so I’m happy to be transparent


about this uh postcard Mania is what’s called Full Service I don’t know who out there is a if you’re a Direct Mail


company and you are mail house um then you might know what full Services we were we were the first


company in Pinellas County to be full service all that means is that we


um implemented certain things for the post office so that everything is done on


site and when we put everything in the truck to go to the actual post office the mail has already been cleared and


they give you a discount for that so we make money that way we make money um by commingling if you don’t know what


that is you basically give you all your mail over to Pitney Bowes or some other vendor and they put it through these if


you’ve not seen these co-mingling machines they’re insane they’re like you know I could never have a commingly


machine on the space for it but they separate all the mail by um all the offset mail uh by ZIP code


and and then there’s a bump in the in the you know we make some money that way we make money on Drop Shipping uh we we


tell them what the postage like if we drop ship to a certain um zip code where the mail if it’s all


like a five digit or a three digit we drop ship there and we wind up making money that way so we say okay we we


process the list we say this is what your post messages they pay the money for the postage and then we figure out how we’re going to make more money on


that postage so that’s basically how we do it and there are certain very small jobs or anything that’s done through the


API um that is like okay it’s all done you


know online and it’s like we have to come up with an average amount when we haven’t really seen the list yet and


they have to pay in advance and sometimes we make a couple pennies here and there on that so all in all with the


amount of mail that we that we send out it’s decent amount of money you know yeah I would imagine so so if you’re


clearing a couple of percentage points or a couple pennies per piece it’s it’s not it’s not a make or break of the


business but it’s a nice little extra padding so thank you for work all the effort yeah it’s worth all the effort we


put into everything yeah all right uh another question how do you


see AI playing a part in the evolution of direct mail or what you do


we are toying with a lot of AI on the design and copy side


um that is where AI is actually okay right now we’ve done a lot of tests and


it’s not accurate enough to use it completely but fortunately for me I have a lot of very Tech forward employees


that are just going every company that’s out there right now that’s using Ai and


a subscription basis the free ones yeah we’re testing it all but it’s um


uh we just were testing one right now that builds landing pages and presentations and


it took like literally minutes to build a landing page I can’t remember what the company’s called happy to share it with


you guys um if you if you do that we build websites and landing pages we do all the digital stuff for our clients as well I


mean we you know yes we mail you know what is it like four million pieces a week or something like that but


um but we do all the digital stuff too so we’re using it on that side on the creative side makes sense makes sense


yeah it’s I believe it’s going to become a bigger and bigger part there are people that will provide very uh


targeted solution for different parts of the of the marketing chain or marketing channel or delivery and it’ll become


everyone will be using it within a few years in some way or another what what about the chat gbt do you ever guys ever


use that to help write copy or or any of the things they’re using they’re using Jasper and you know there there’s


there’s other ones um I used chat GTP to plan a trip to Denmark that I’m going to


in August and it literally saved me so much time I mean so for that it was


really good but you can’t really if there’s reasons why you can’t have it write your copy first of all Google knows if you wrote the if you’re


putting it on if you’re putting that copy online Google knows that that AI wrote the copy and they they


um basically penalize you for that ranking-wise so you it’s good for it’s


good to get a an outline and just to have something to start with and something to edit but you really do need


to personalize you know customize it can’t really just do it as is and you


have to double check it tells lies it tells lies you know like we we asked um AI who are


um lob’s customers like we want to know who lob’s customers were and it gave us


like a whole list and we were like great we’re gonna we’re gonna we’re going to after this list yeah and then we said


wait a minute who we Sai who are postcard mania’s customers and it gave lies and but it listed it very


convincingly of who our customers were it’s not true you know so we looked at it we just started cracking up we went


okay so AI is whatever I mean they couldn’t we were like is it going to go to our website and go to our case study


page and find like is it like we didn’t know how does it do it right how does it do it so no so we don’t trust it we


don’t trust it to write anything yeah there’s a lot of that going on I I don’t disagree it’s it’s going to take some


more time yeah uh Rachel raber asks can you talk about the types of offers or


messages that you have noticed get the best responses via print marketing


yes but it’s also by industry the the offers really depend on the industry so


I have a catalog of you could probably download it if you want to download it I have to find it on my website I don’t


have it like I don’t know the link off the top of my head uh Brad maybe could provide it to people but we have a


download of like I don’t know it’s a PDF with like buy industry tons and tons and tons and tons


of offers that we literally took off our postcards and offered to anybody who wants to see what they are so I’m happy


to share that with you but it’s really by industry like dentists have a certain have certain offers that work roofers


have certain offers that work so good good here’s an interesting one it’s


labeled Anonymous it says what are the first three things you do in the morning when you arrive to the office


I don’t arrive to the office in the morning all right well whenever you arrive


yeah first three things I do in the morning okay when I start working you mean okay I guess yeah yes I guess


because I I I you know what my morning is um the first thing I do is just get


on my email and see what I can what can I what can I get done before my bike ride that’s basically my morning


um I would say that I first go through what I didn’t finish yesterday um and see if I can wrap any of that up


a lot of times what I’ll I get a lot of communication because I I have several businesses and I just have a lot going


on so the first thing I want to do is look at what I didn’t complete from the day before from my my battle plan or my


to-do list um and and complete those things in the early morning when nobody’s bothering me


or talking to me or trying to get my attention and um and then once that’s done I delete I go and delete all the


emails that came in the middle of the night you don’t need to respond to that I


don’t need to respond to I bulk delete to clean up my inbox um I look at my calendar to see what’s


on my calendar for the day so that I can organize my morning hope that helps I don’t know


I mean you know it’s kind of boring but um if you’re looking for something a little more inspirational I can tell you


that I do make a decision as the very first


part of my day the very first thing in the morning I make a decision that it’s going to be an awesome day and then I’m


going to get a lot done I kind of like I’m very I’m very big into like projecting what the day is going to be


like and kind of manifesting what I want the day to be like so that um I start off on the right foot so that’s great


great advice a bob Byers ask and I’m not totally sure


maybe you know what this means how much match-back reporting are you doing I I


mean a few different ways I mean are you talking are they talking about lead match what are they talking about no no


you’re gonna have to get it you’re muted I think what he’s talking about is are


your customers giving you end unit conversion data leads into their CRM final dollars and are you matching that


back to the mailing list if they’ll do it with us yes no one says attribution yeah yeah all clients or


Partners even when we’ve asked for it sometimes


yeah we we’ve done I mean we have done lots of that lots of that


for customers when they ask us to do it we do it um there is a way also we’ve built some kind of an Roi tool on our


website where our CL our customers it’s in it’s I don’t know if it’s on our website or if it’s in my postcard Mania


it’s in our Extranet site for our customers they can upload their list whether they provided it or whether we


provided it and they and they can upload their customer list and they can actually they don’t have to upload the list they only have to upload their


customer list and we can match it back to the mailing list makes sense yeah some kind of automated process we’ve


created for them here’s a little bit of a Financial question they say he asks do


you see your average order size go up or down during a downturn so are you having


to get more smaller orders or are you a good question John Cassidy


um that’s a really good question I would say right now we will we just saw our


average order size go down slightly but it’s not because of the economy it’s


because we offered a lower cost product that I’m going to take away from my you know from from our offering


I’m gonna get rid of it because it it created like


my customer base will go to the cheapest thing they can do so by offering this lower priced product that’s what they’re


they’re kind of gravitating towards so it lowered our overall things we’re gonna get rid of that makes it all sense I haven’t really


noticed I honestly from for an economic downturn perspective um we handle each client very


individually and we are always pushing for the biggest campaign possible because we know that volume is


everything we know that like it’s it’s quantity first and then quality and and so we’re always pushing volume


all right uh I will not butcher this name but he this gentleman asked what is


the file format you seek your customers when you plan a variable


data print campaign I guess this is when you ingest it through your your web store or yeah we we can take it we can


take HTML we can um we can take PDF I I you know we’re we’re


every time we see what the market is wanting to be able to give us we handle


it logically you provide that you provide that yeah so it doesn’t really matter it used to matter but now we can


you know we can take whatever good and the second part is do you analyze the raw data that comes in or is


it something you expect your client will do and you just adjust it I mean I I I’m


assuming they’re talking about when you take in an order electronically do you analyze that data or do you hope that


your clients doing that I would assume that if the data is bad there will not be an output of a print campaign exactly


so if somebody there yeah basically there’ll be an error and and what’s really different about us


industry-wide and anyone that’s doing the um API is that we have customer service people so if something is if we


you can always get someone on the phone at postcardmania to walk you through stuff which is very unusual


good good all right here’s another one from Mr John Cassidy so some maybe


prospects watching this and seeing that joy as an investor and owner and dm2o


that could cause some apprehension from the point of sharing client data


with postcard Mania so we get this question can I can I speak to this can I


speak to you we’re gonna you’re gonna definitely speak to him can I just speak to this to anyone


I I first of all we’re in totally separate systems like I don’t even


I don’t even have a key to Brad’s office like I you don’t have a log into our I don’t have a login I don’t have a login


I I’m so far removed from DM 2.0 I mean the only


my biggest connection to DM 2.0 is that Brad’s a really old friend of mine he’s the CEO that’s my connection to damn 2.0


it’s not you know it I can understand why it’s uh why it’s a concern but the


truth of the matter is um we get 3 000 brand new leads every


single week at Postcard Mania I need not go after other people’s business my sales people my 40 something plus sales


people can barely keep up with the influx of leads so it’s yeah I


understand I understand the question I I do too I have the same question and the concern they see well postcard Mania is


a big uh Direct Mail Marketing Group and a lot of people have heard of you and


you do a lot of volume what better way to steal customers from other printers than just go into our platform


I understand it but it’s like if you knew me you would know that that’s like the last thing on earth I even want to


do in my heart Arts it’s like not even it’s not even in my universe and from a legal perspective we have contractual


agreements with each one of our partners with confidentiality Clauses do not share with any parts it’s all buttoned


up yeah via our legal agreements and and we all have morals and integrity here


too so I agree I mean part of it is you know


obviously there are some bad apples in the world but for the most part people are basically good and it’s that small


minority that would do something as disingenuous and criminal as that and I


know for a fact that the three people you’re looking at right now do fall into the category of decent people that would


never do that or allow each other to do it should one even have an off day and think it was a good idea so it’s not


it’s not happening it never will and I appreciate the concern I’m more than


happy to have a one-on-one conversation with anybody that would need any more reassurance on that point so it’s it’s


not an issue one one last question last thing about have you gotten more in here


um John says again we struggle with finding people that get it what the right team


member looks like when hiring new salespersons we so that we can actually sell omnichannel maybe this is a topic


for future webinar but how do you find the right people oh okay maybe maybe we


do a whole webinar on that but yeah I mean we are not being that picky we are


looking for sales people that can sell and close a sale and then we train them


we train them to sell it and um training is of the essence I mean


training is ongoing constantly at Postcard Mania so we will take someone


who sold solar and and has no idea about print or marketing and we will train them in six weeks they are they’ve


already been taking calls but they have someone listening in on the calls and coaching them and they it takes about


six weeks until they’re full fully through training and on a team and


um and we train them and that’s the only answer I can give you I agree and that makes sense and if someone doesn’t cut


it or they aren’t achieving certain benchmarks then they’re out you know it’s it’s it’s it’s it’s heavy on the


higher and don’t worry about losing people just let them go if they’re not going to make it that makes sense good


um another anonymous you mentioned not stopping your direct mail and marketing during a downturn can you talk a little


bit about what your sales team does specifically during the downturn in terms of do they outflow more do you


drop prices do you discount do you do anything like that um no actually


um since we don’t stop the our overall


company outflow the leads actually are fine we there’s always companies


that are growing if you listen to the media if you watch the news you think


everybody’s dying out there and it’s not true there are lots of businesses out


there that are thriving and those are the either those people or the people who are not going to sit back and you


know the entrepreneurs business owners are going to sit back and die because the news says they’re going to they


basically are calling in all our all our leads are inbound leads we we outflow


with direct mail and Omni Channel and then the leads call in those 3 000 leads a week are reaching in and they’re


interested if somebody picks up the phone or fills out a form online they are interested and our sales people take


the stance that they need this product and service and that’s what and we’re going to be the best option for them and


that’s sort of like the mindset so good thank you one last customer question from Mr Mark Hale what


characteristics do you look for when hiring sales people hi Mark my friend


hi Mark and congratulations on your recent achievement anyway


um what characteristics are we looking for we are looking for people with on


the phone experience um we have hired people that go door to


door because that’s harder we feel than to get get on the phone


um but we don’t hire people that are sales people that are like relationship


Builders types of sales people you know that have that have to


like account manager types we hire sales people people who are going to actually


go for the clothes people who are going to treat it not like I’m going to


educate you I am going to educate you but I’m going to educate you I’m gonna make you comfortable and then I’m gonna


get your credit card that’s their that’s how we train so I mean that’s about as direct as you can


be all right good so this is the last question we’re almost out of time I like to end these on time so people can get


back to their busy life so joy as a parting question if you’ve had some incredible growth and expansion over the


last 25 years this is your 25th year right June we’re gonna have a giant party we’re gonna have like a blowout


giant party like are we invited of course come to the party you’re


invited you’re invited to my personal home Brad just anything


what what parting words or words of wisdom could you provide the people still on that would help them most if


you had to condense down the best advice into one sentence or or two or three bullet points what


would it be okay so first of all I’m speaking to the I’m speaking to my people these are people who are selling


marketing and printing correct so Practice What You Preach practice what you’re trying to sell make sure that


you’re promoting your own company the same way you’re trying to get your clients to to do with you because if if


you’re sincere in in your approach to these people because you’re doing it


yourself then your sales people are going to be much more pumped about selling it because they’re going to be


very confident in its efficacy so that’s number one um I find that you know printers


marketing companies are like the you know the cobbler whose children has no shoes


um it’s just important that you promote yourself so that’s probably number one uh number two is


getting educated yourself on how this Omni Channel Works get as much education


as possible yourself then make sure that your sales people get educated if you keep putting it over to some expert


that’s going to know it better than you you’re never going to feel really causative over incorporating it into


your business model so I think if you understand it and you you get you get yourself educated as a


marketer you’re going to be much more confident in selling it I think that’s probably advice I think it’s great advice I mean


one thing I’d like to add that I think that you’ve done very well you’re very good at picking the right people you


have a amazing executive leadership team that that helps you there and your


organization is finely tuned with 25 years of experience of selling print marketing you know you’ve learned a lot


along the way more than most um so you know having a good team behind that


obviously helps forward those goals and keeps you moving forward yeah I mean if anybody ever wants to talk to me about


that I mean I have people that have been with me for I mean the president my company five years 25 years and and I


have 23 years 22 years 19 years I mean my executive team I I can talk about


that I mean I could talk about that why are they staying with me why how yeah


exactly so I wanted to put that out there because I know you’re humble for the most part


anyways let’s let’s wrap it up Morgan thank you very much joy a big thank you


to you please uh Morgan you want to give a final uh pitch or commercial here that


uh yeah no I mean too much joy for joining us today that was you know very


very enlightening a ton of experience I I got I personally got a lot out of it so but uh if anybody has any more questions


about marketing or you’re interested in our white label platform or more information on that I just want to put


our contact information up here quick QR code if you want to scan that real quick with your phone goes over to our website


book a demo we’d be happy to talk with you and uh talk about more how we might be able to help you grow your business


with our platform all right Joy Morgan thank you very much you guys that was great yeah enjoyed by


the final word and not a final word there’s like all these people that are chatting to me are we can you save this so I can answer that yes that will all


be saved and we will send it to you I didn’t know that yeah it is okay so John


Cassidy you had four or five questions says thank you so much really appreciate the transparency and all the information


so my pleasure happy to help all right guys have a great afternoon take care bye-bye