Strategy + Planning

Strategy & Planning_500x300Technology and the pace of business have placed great demands on our time, too often forcing us to act or react without forethought or planning. Very often, the simplest strategy we can recommend is to sit down and make a plan – before you act. We’ll help you create a plan to define the WHO, WHY, WHEN, WHERE and HOW MUCH before recommending or proceeding with a specific marketing task or program.

Integrated Marketing Plans

Marketing your business in today’s constantly changing, connected world requires ongoing effort to gain share of mind and share of market. You want customers to think positively and frequently about you (mind share), and you want them to buy from you rather than the competition (market share).

With so many different digital and print channels of communications to pick from, how do you know what’s best? It often takes multiple different touchpoints to turn prospects into customers. By purposefully integrating different channels into an integrated, seamless campaign, you can maximize the return on your marketing investment. You can realize a synergistic, positive effect that is typically greater than the sum of the individual channel elements.

Marketing Research

To paraphrase a famous sage, “the journey to a successful marketing campaign begins with a single step”. Where you take that first step can mean all the difference between measurable and repeatable success or failure.

Our Marketing Research services help you identify and understand your marketplace and its opportunities and challenges, and generate, implement, evaluate and refine a course of action and measure your results each time. Time invested in planning and insight will help you develop a profitable relationship between your company, and your customers and prospects.

Campaign Development + Lead Generation

Achieving your desired results in both the B2B and B2C sales cycle requires an understanding of how purchasing decisions are made, by whom and when.

Fresh Thinking is an integral part of the Custom Direct brand. It is our promise to always be looking for new ideas, resources and talent. Our internal and external network of creative directors, marketing pros, writers and strategists – are subject-matter experts who bring their industry experience and fresh perspectives – to solve your marketing challenges.

We develop integrated campaigns that use an optimal mix of inbound and outbound marketing channels for reaching your suspects and prospects – to help your sales team move your prospects beyond the sales funnel into the customer lifecycle: to specify, recommend, purchase and re-purchase. Read how we developed an integrated brand building campaign to help our client break into a new marketplace.

  • Joyce Hothan, Executive Director
    As a non profit organization telling our story is so important to us. The Custom Direct Team spent a lot of time listening to us in order to capture the essence of our mission and organize our website in  a way that tells our story efficiently and effectively. We couldn't be happier with the product! Your responsiveness allowed us to move the project from start to finish without delay. Thanks for your high degree of professionalism, wonderful team work, understanding of our resources and passion for helping us improve our social media message!
    Joyce Hothan, Executive Director
    Glen Ellyn Children's Resource Center
  • Jill Foucré
    The leadership and staff at Custom Direct have been instrumental in all phases of the relaunch of the Marcel’s website. Because they understand our business so well and are aligned with our functional and stylistic needs, we were able to go from concept to design to implementation in a very reasonable amount of time. The team at Custom Direct is creative, resourceful, budget conscious, flexible, and reliable. When challenges are encountered, they find solutions rather than simply reporting on the challenge. They answer the questions I don’t think to ask and they stay focused even when I create distractions or ask them to research something that ends up being an unimportant detour. Custom Direct is a key partner to our growing business.
    Jill Foucré
    Marcel’s Culinary Experience
  • Elisabeth Landt
    Custom Direct worked closely with us at The Quarry Cable Park as we launched our new website. They were able to help us design, brand, and launch a fantastic website which is not only user-friendly, but seamlessly incorporated changes that we made along the way. We riddled the team with challenges and they went above and beyond to quickly find solutions. They had the ability to ease our minds and the expertise to balance our needs and wants. The Custom Direct team exceeded our expectations and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.
    Elisabeth Landt
    The Quarry Cable Park & Grille
  • Maynard Wood
    We enlisted the help of Custom Direct to modernize existing literature and develop new brochures for our participation in a trade show as well as for use in our sales efforts through our field sales force. It was a pleasure working with Custom Direct. They developed three brochures that were creative and of high quality. We were extremely pleased with their performance and are going to involve them in more of our literature and marketing projects.
    Maynard Wood
    Torque Technologies, Inc.
  • Jen Nelson
    Custom Direct’s strength is not only that they provide collaborative design, coordination of photography and complete follow through to the printed piece, but the high standards of the quality they produce are hard to duplicate in the marketplace. Another thing that helps alleviate my stress is that I have no worries once Custom Direct has committed to a project. They do it, do it well and have hit every single deadline (and there have been some really ‘there’s no way they’re going to pull this off’ deadlines)!
    Jen Nelson
    Colony Brands
  • Robert Levy
    We hired Custom Direct to modernize our corporate logo. They did such a great job, we decided to use them to create a corporate capabilities piece. Next, they designed our signage for trade shows and the graphics for our booth. We are always pleased with their professionalism, creativity and attention to detail. They go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure they get us what we need ahead of our deadline and right on budget. I recommend them to anyone seeking a creative/corporate communications firm!
    Robert Levy
    Tele Business USA
  • Brian Hartman
    From the start, Custom Direct took the time to understand our business, our needs, as well as our clients’ needs (Bank of America; First National Bank of Omaha). The outcome of this insight has not only led to the proverbial ‘meeting and exceeding expectations’, but setting a standard and level from which we rate our other vendors. Custom Direct offers us a partner with a deep understanding of creative and production. More importantly, Custom Direct offers the people and resources that care about our clients as much as we do.
    Brian Hartman
    Inte Q – formerly SHC Direct, LLC
  • Barbara Babler
    Custom Direct has been a valuable partner to The Swiss Colony for more than 25 years. They have provided valuable problem-solving research, direction and support in printing, prepress, art direction and photography projects. We look forward to their continued support.
    Barbara Babler
    Colony Brands - The Swiss Colony
  • Darrin Schmidt
    In converting our workflow from in-house to an external partner, Custom Direct made the transition as painless as possible. The professionalism of this group is second to none. It has been a pleasure to work with them and we look forward to continuing our association.
    Darrin Schmidt
    Rite at Home Healthcare Products, LLC
  • Ursula Andreasen
    I just wanted to thank you and your staff for designing my new web site. It turned out beyond my wildest dreams and has brought many complements from my staff and clients. The new design so complements my operation and it has already brought many clients to my shop.
    Ursula Andreasen
    Ursula Hair Design, The North Shore’s Premier Hair Salon
  • Michelle Bailey
    When working with Custom Direct on a project I feel like they are part of the AMP team. For the past four years we have worked together on what I consider a huge project. It involves over 400 images each year, some come in as film, others are digital. And did I mention it falls in my very busiest part of the season? But Custom Direct makes the process pretty painless. They truly are pros when it comes to color. And what really makes everyone happy here is they are competitive with pricing and I have never had any surprises at billing time.
    Michelle Bailey
    Andrews McMeel Publishing
  • Karyl L. Mandel
    After over 35 years, we changed our name, moved our offices and needed a new identity – quickly. Custom Direct was able to guide us through the process with their creativity, timeliness and professionalism. Their follow-through, attention to detail and personal consideration for our needs was extraordinary.
    Karyl L. Mandel
    Teitelbaum & Mandel, Ltd.
  • Kelly Carlson
    The team at Custom Direct goes that extra mile and have become an invaluable and trusted part of our marketing team here at AMES Taping Tools.  We’ve been working with them on a wide array of projects including (but not limited to) retail sales circulars, advertising materials and website maintenance.   They really embrace the brand and help maintain the brand integrity in any request we’ve sent their way.  In addition, they treat each request with a sense of urgency that has been unmatched and we couldn’t be happier with the results.
    Kelly Carlson
    AMES Taping Tools.
  • Cheryl Murphy
    We have worked with Custom Direct for over 4 years.  They have an excellent creative eye and our magazine looks so much better than it did before.  Custom Direct took the time to understand our business and our clients and they help us throughout the entire publishing process.  If I ever forget anything, they remind me and make sure each issue is complete.  They are organized, meet deadlines, and their process makes it very easy to work with them. I highly recommend Custom Direct for magazine layout, design, and publishing.
    Cheryl Murphy
    Community Associations Institute - Illinois