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Customer-centric strategies fuel growth of direct marketing industry says Jacobsons Direct Marketing

United Arab Emirates: Thursday, March 30 - 2006 @ 14:02

Direct marketing is fast becoming an indispensable process for companies looking to enhance brand values, attain business acceleration and effective product penetration in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Jacobsons is responsible for the management of over 5 million live database records of customers and prospects for some of the best managed corporations in the Middle East. It runs a variety of best of class Direct Marketing and CRM programmes on their behalf. The success of Jacobsons is an indicator of the exponential growth of the direct marketing industry in the Middle East.

Direct marketing is all about quantifiable, proven response. The Direct Marketing Association USA of which Jacobsons is a member has reported that it expects interactive/e-commerce revenues to reach USD81.1bn by 2006. The Association goes on to state that it observed revenues of USD31.4bn in 2001, up 12.1% from 2000′s figure of USD28bn. A spokesperson for the association has said that strong growth is expected until 2006.

According to George Jacob, Managing Director of Jacobsons Direct Marketing Services LLC, direct marketing in its various forms has proven advantages in a multi-channel marketing environment. The fast-paced growth of the Middle Eastern economies, especially the United Arab Emirates, has meant that companies are more attuned to the importance of such customer-centric strategies and processes that will strengthen their market presence.

Jacobsons today offers full enterprise solutions that provide business stability, acceleration and growth to both nascent and established businesses. Research has demonstrated that every decision maker in the UAE has been targeted at least once per month by Jacobsons on a subject within his areas of interest. Also 70 per cent of the people who visited a major exhibition in the UAE have been invited via a Jacobsons’ mailer.

In the mid 80s, while advertising embarked on a growth trend, there was a lacuna for a professional direct marketing agency. Jacobsons realized the potential for direct marketing services in the Gulf and began operations in 1986. From a single room in Dubai, with UAE’s very first ever database being compiled by George Jacob, the company has grown to a multi-country organization with head quarters in Dubai. Jacobsons’ 120 specialist staff comprises of 14 nationalities.

“Direct Marketing has been a pertinent boost for business development in the early years primarily through postal mailers. Though this traditional means of customer contact, remains at the core of our business activities, Jacobsons today offers a broad spectrum of activities, to achieve measurable results for our vast client base.

‘Our extensive experience in one-to-one marketing means our clients can measure customer acquisition costs, calculate break-even points for direct response campaigns, identify high-profit customer segments and monitor overall return on investment,” says Jacob.

“Enterprise leaders have become increasingly aware of the need for business stability, acceleration and growth in a competitive industry environment. At Jacobsons Direct Marketing Services we implement on behalf of our clients a set of measurable and mission-critical practices that help them create a need for their products, identify and acquire customers, and generate greater transactions,” says Akram Raffoul, Partner, Executive Board Director, Jacobsons Direct Marketing Services.

“In tomorrow’s business environment the need to engage with the customer in order to strengthen dialogue and generate loyalty is an absolute priority. Companies have to strategize in terms of delivering a happy customer experience that guarantees long term business stability when dealing with existing and potential customers. Jacobsons is now able to help enterprises achieve these goals,” he added.

Jacobsons’ 20 years in business produced unique regional know-how in varied direct marketing practices and skills that effectively address the marketing needs of their customer base through Customer Experience Management, Customer Relationship Management, database hygiene, profiled mailing lists, mailroom and fulfillment, call centre, response management as well as specialised creative, production, new media aids and e-marketing.

“Industry sectors that lag behind in adoption of basic direct marketing initiatives include retail especially those dealing with fashion and luxury goods; property companies, automotive and banking sectors. While few of these have initiated serious efforts to create greater affinity with their customers, many of them have not yet addressed the elements of business stability that involves measures to secure repeat business and reduce marketing waste,” Raffoul added.

To create customer-centric strategies and optimize business processes, it’s necessary for businesses to manage customer relations differently. The scope of work goes well beyond traditional thinking towards the development of enterprise-friendly strategies that drive a coordinated, cohesive organizational approach to understanding and delighting customers.

Direct Marketing Associations from around the world have in various industry activity reports indicated that out of the total communications, advertising and marketing investments made by enterprises and corporations, the share of Direct Marketing practices ranges between 35% and 65% depending on the extent of economic development. Industry figures indicate that in the Middle East this share has still not reached five per cent.

Jacobsons Direct Marketing believes with greater communication options and advances in technology, direct marketing is assuming a greater and dominant role in helping companies in the Middle East develop indispensable databases to support their market presence and meet business growth goals.

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Thursday, March 30- 2006 @ 14:02 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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