Highlights of Developing Direct To Consumer Materials in a Pinch
Our team of creative experts in Custom Publishing and Design is always up for a good challenge. Nothing gets us more excited about a project than knowing that it is going to solve our Clients' needs or resolve a strain in their Business Operations. So when we received the call that Benziger Family Winery needed close to a dozen Wine Club Newsletters revamped and ready for shipment in a short time frame, we were up for the challenge.
The interesting thing about Benziger is that they already have a Marketing Department, a Wine Club Manager and an in-house Designer, but they were still feeling pain going through the process of developing their Direct To Consumer (DTC) Marketing Materials, specifically materials for their wine club distribution throughout the year.
“When they approached us, it started with a photography project. They needed to produce an ad for Food & Wine and Wine Spectator magazines and had little time to do it. They called me and said, ‘can you come tomorrow morning and shoot for this ad? And if you can, we can also set up a meeting to talk about your company taking over design of our materials for DTC,'” said Left Coast Marketing Owner Dan Chapin.
“It all lined up with the type of project that we at Left Coast want to do, and that we are really good at doing,” he said.
With the large scope of the project and a short print deadline, Left Coast Marketing brought in several resources including a Project Manager, a Designer, an Editor and a Photographer. Services included Managing both Company Teams and Timeline, Photographing and Retouching all Bottle Shots, Layout and Design of multiple Club Newsletters and Final Editing for Print.
“The challenge with producing DTC in-house is that there are a lot of resources to manage. First, we get to manage the Designer so that they know what to do. Then, we have content developed which often includes Photography. Lastly, we have a Designer assemble all of that content across a complex matrix of multiple Wine Clubs. All of this has to happen on timeline that is inline with the shipment dates for our Clients' Wine Clubs—one of the largest revenue-generating sources for a wine company,” Dan said. “With our agency, we handle all aspects of the project and follow it to the end when the project gets delivered for shipment.”
In the case of Benziger, their in-house Designer was charged with designing all of the Marketing Materials for the entire company, and what our agency has experienced with other Clients is that design resource has a finite bandwidth to service all sales channels. Priority often goes to the Trade Marketing or Wholesale Channel and the DTC is left on the backs of the Wine Club Team who don’t always have the resources to create materials.
“There was a tug-of-war with their single design resource and they decided that it would be better to have this project be outsourced and free-up their Designer,” said Dan.
“The Chief Architect for their communication materials was also wearing a Project Management hat with all of these different resources and vendors and that was another big part of the pain. The person that was tasked with wearing a Brand Marketing hat and working to support sales efforts across the company was getting bogged down with this project,” he added.
After the first initial Project Kick-Off Meeting, the Left Coast Marketing Team came away knowing that they were going to face a few challenges of their own getting this project to the finish line.
“Being a new project, the first one is always the hardest. I think that is something we can concede. We have to get orientated with their team, establish a division of responsibilities on both sides and have enough breathing room on timeline to operate effectively – and that was the biggest challenge. They asked us to not only produce these pieces for the first time, but to do it faster than they had ever done it before,” said Dan.
In the end, we met with the Benziger team for a post-wrap to discover that they were not only satisfied with the end results, but that our agency had exceeded their expectations. We chalk our success up to a few things that we provide to our Clients:
Our Creative Team is allowed to push the boundaries when asked and also stay consistent with a company’s brand.
Having a Photographer within our agency is a valuable resource who supplies consistent and beautiful imaging for our designers to work with.
Project Management is in our DNA.
And most importantly, Customer Service is our number one service.
If your company would like to outsource development of your Direct To Consumer Marketing Materials, contact us today to meet our team!