By Rob Reynolds and Jason Solano
We're sitting in a craft beer bar in Los Angeles talking about our careers. We could see the change coming and we were both ready for something new.
Although we are co-workers at Guthy|Renker, the country’s biggest direct marketer, we talk like friends. That's what hundreds of project hours, four Coachella camping experiences, many beer festivals, and countless concerts will do. We are more than co-workers, we are great friends.
On this day we were talking about what we may do next and the start up culture arriving on our doorstep in Los Angeles. Especially Silicon Beach. Hey, did you hear about that company selling mattresses online? I heard about the pet subscription box business exploding last year. Diapers by mail: those guys have that giant CPG company running scared. Their LTV must be huge and they don't have to race to the bottom with retailers. This went on for a while.
So what do these companies have in common? They are selling direct. Many with a subscription. Excellent! Our favorite business model.
But, we also saw they needed help. Some things we could see right away and we knew there was more that wasn't in plain sight. Many of these fixes could mean a huge improvement for their business. Some changes might even be simple to make, maybe, but they are never obvious. The key is knowing what to look for in a mountain of data. We have both been there before, that's our advantage.
Wouldn't it be great if one of us could join company X as CMO and make them huge? Of course we would miss the diversity and reach of Guthy|Renker. And the prospect of us no longer working together was lamentable.
And that's when the shoe dropped for us: why don't we start our own company to help others do what we do best!?
This way we don’t have to pick just one company to help. We can work with several using the honed direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing skills that we developed at G|R. We could help DTC companies improve their analysis and marketing processes; transforming how they view their direct businesses. Similarly, we could help that company who wants to launch a DTC program for the first time. And, given that we love that part of our jobs, we know it will be a lot of fun.
That day the seeds of Directade were planted. It was a matter of deciding on the right name, branding, the best approaches to add repeatable value, how to engage effectively, and bill fairly for the work. We know we could build something amazing...and work with great products and people.
Dispatches on Directade.com will be updated regularly. Stay tuned for more content.
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