Josh Perlstein, CEO
“Customer is king” is a frequently heard business mantra, and the king demands much more than just commendable customer service. Marketers are well aware of the fact that consumers, particularly in today’s data-driven and social media-influenced economy, hold immense power in terms of promoting a brand and want the best value for their money. Driven by a mission to empower retailers/e-commerce and manufacturers going D2C, Atlanta-based Response Media is dedicated to helping companies understand, create, and quantify CRM by “bring[ing] it to life.” The CEO of the company, Josh Perlstein, emphasizes, “We are a solution provider—a full-service digital and direct agency—whose cardinal role encompasses recommending sound strategy, alongside the right platforms and technology to marketers for building meaningful relationships with customers, all from a platform-agnostic perspective.”
Response Media highly emphasizes framing path-to-purchase for consumers into a multi-directional highway wherein customers can have utmost flexibility while buying. As an agency partner, Response Media is focused on collaborating, creating, and implementing a custom solution set for each client, which perfectly aligns with their business goal, and efficiently and effectively delivers the maximum value for them. The agency is open to all platforms and recommends the right ones based on a specific client’s requirements. “We plug in and synchronize different platforms while automating the interchange of data between them. We tie systems together by design and make them more efficient to operate through intelligent APIs and automation that we build,” explains Perlstein. With an aim to build consensus among different departments like sales, marketing, and IT, which is no small feat, Response Media conducts alignment workshops to congregate a client’s sales and marketing teams for discussing their primary goals and what CRM should deliver them accordingly.
Another agenda of the workshop is to quantify the value of an activity. “For instance, if we create a process to send personalized product recommendations to a consumer, we determine the value of the investment,” says Perlstein. Most importantly, by working with these teams transparently and collaboratively, Response Media brings unrivaled productivity in the solutions it creates and builds. Perlstein sheds light on the fact that the Response Media team is second to none when it comes to drilling down to the pain-points of the client with its listening skills. As consultants, the team partakes in listening training and is adept at synthesizing thoughts from different sources together to comprehend a client’s business better and develop a deep level of trust.
Response Media collaborates with the client’s teams to visualize the entire customer journey from awareness-to-advocacy before proposing a platform or capabilities for meeting the client’s objectives. In the words of Perlstein, “Tying together media and customer acquisition into the full customer communication and messaging cycle is critical. However, without a clear understanding of how to acquire customers and to fully comprehend their mindset, delivering relevant and personalized content to them is far from possible.
We are a solution provider—a full-service digital and direct agency—whose cardinal role encompasses recommending and implementing strategies, platforms, and technology to marketers for building meaningful long-term relationships with their customers from a platform-agnostic perspective
We find most CRM solutions specialize in either acquisition or retention capability.” Response Media, on the contrary, melds these entities together into a carefully coordinated combination and emphasizes the intersection of the two. This helps its clients to understand the different customer journeys from the beginning and enables them to scale those upfront, which allows for both Response Media and the client’s team to correctly budget and discern the methods that are working throughout the process.
At the core of the entire approach is first-party data. On the front end, Response Media assists in aggregating critical consumer data and their permission to utilize it at scale. But, that is not all. To drive advocacy, the agency recommends platforms and solutions that encourage customers to rate and review products and share those reviews on social networks. “We move them all the way from loyalty to advocacy, which at scale, opens up a whole new organic funnel of customer acquisition. It is a looping cycle,” adds the CEO. The Response Media team then comes up with a fitting solution set for each client from an agnostic perspective and handholds them through flawless execution. For clients that have teams to do the work, the agency coaches them with accountability for completion, which makes its job even more rewarding.
As a testimony to Response Media’s consulting efficacy, Perlstein recounts an instance when a global food and beverage client found that their retail and D2C sales plateaued. While the client partially addressed the issue through CRM and the development of an exhaustive catalog of content that they hoped would drive more sales, their efforts ultimately failed to meet their goal. That’s when Response Media stepped in to assist them in understanding the different customer journeys of their potential buyers and current consumer segments. To help the client test and understand what content resonated with its customer base, Response Media customized a few existing solutions and brought new tools to the table that enabled the client to drop the customers into the appropriate segments and deliver them the right content on the right channels. “In this case, we facilitated the sharing of content through email, direct mail, SMS, and in-app notifications. We also helped them build a structure to properly attribute sell-through, conversion, or purchase from this activity,” mentions Perlstein. Response Media helped the client create a model for utilizing personalized content to attract more customers to sign up for their loyalty program. The digital CRM approach that Response Media built contributed to incremental sales of the global brand, dramatically increasing the base of new customers joining the program and buying for the first time.
With the goal to continue evolving its strategic capability to stay ahead of the curve, Response Media’s future looks promising. While clients often focus on specific short-term goals, the agency goes out of its way to help clients implement new tactics and advocates focusing on long-term goals. “We are committed to helping clients tackle long-range goals, test new technologies, and develop innovative capabilities, primarily in the areas of automation and predictive marketing,” concludes the CEO.