DCI Marketing originated as a small printing company in 1944; however, the company has recently merged with Artform International, a United Kingdom-based retail marketing firm, to form DCI-Artform (DCI). The merger has allowed DCI to now service clients the world-over.
According to John Minnec, chief marketing officer for DCI, the company’s first major client was Cadillac. “After that we just took off,” explains Minnec. “We have had steady growth for nearly 70 years.”
Minnec has a strong background in the marketing business with more than 25 years of experience. He began his career as a writer for television commercials and worked his way up, joining DCI’s leadership team in January 2013.
The company casts a broad net in the marketing world, specializing in retail and shopper marketing. “We work in the retail environment by developing solutions based on consumer insights and retail science,” Minnec explains. “The four major sectors we work in are transportation, cosmetics, consumer electronics and grocery.”
According to Minnec, there is no question that DCI stands apart from other marketing firms. “We use research and a science-based methodology to develop effective retail solutions that deliver measurable ROI for our clients,” he elaborates. “As a global marketing firm, we’re also able to provide complete end-to-end service for our clients anywhere in the world.”
It is evident that Minnec is confident in the team’s ability. “We do the entire process, from research and strategy development through design, production, implementation, aftercare and program measurement,” he says. “As an example, we design and build a prototype display. Then we test it and measure the results before we go into production. We can even create virtual displays and entire retail environments to test our ideas in our InVision Retail Science Lab, an in-house working lab that allows our clients to research, experiment, evaluate, test and prove the effectiveness of a marketing solution before making the investment of producing and implementing the entire program to the market.”
Making a Big Impact
DCI operates worldwide with its headquarters in Milwaukee, Wis., and additional offices throughout the U.S., as well as several offices in Europe. Around the globe, more than 500 DCI employees are dedicated to improving marketing opportunities for a number of major brands. The company’s esteemed client list includes Fortune 500 Companies, such as General Motors, Harley-Davidson, Subaru, Coty-Rimmel, L’Oreal, Microsoft, Intel, Wal-Mart, Hormel and Chiquita, among others.
Scott Feldner, COO of DCI, is proud to note that the company has a number of unique initiatives in the works. The company is in the midst of some major intellectual property developments, creating products that will benefit consumers, retailers and brands.
“For example, we introduced spring-loaded, self-facing pusher trays to merchandise bagged salads at the grocery store,” Feldner explains. “The trays front-face packages allow for optimal visual presentation and better stock rotation. The retailer is pleased, because the salad category looks nice and always appears fully stocked, which reduces labor costs. The consumer is happy, because the product looks fresh and appealing. The brand is pleased, because the trays increase category sales.”
Maintaining an Edge
In the face of the recent economic crisis, marketing opportunities declined as manufacturers and service providers tightened their belts. “Clients just weren’t buying,” Minnec explains. “We were fortunate, however, and were able to hold onto all of our clients. Many people assume that cosmetics are recession-proof, but that’s only partially true.”
Mike Doody, CEO of DCI, admits that at times the business can be trying. “One of our biggest hurdles was show-rooming,” he clarifies. “For example, a customer walks into Best Buy to see what a product looks like, feels like and how it works. Then they go right to Amazon to see if it is cheaper there. Sometimes they even order it while they are still in the store. We have been putting a concerted effort into finding out how to make consumers realize the importance of buying from the store.”
Despite many obstacles, Doody and the DCI team were able to steer the company in a new direction. “We have a long history working in the automotive industry and recently introduced a number of digital solutions that have transformed the dealership experience,” Doody continues. “Most car shoppers do their homework before they come into the dealership. We developed a digital showroom that helps the sales person form a better relationship with the shopper throughout the process and totally changes the customer experience. We recently implemented a digital showroom program for Subaru in 600 dealerships. It has made the sales process more engaging and effective, which is a victory for us.”
Doody and Minnec are confident in DCI’s major growth initiatives. Over the next few years, the team will be working on new technological innovations that will allow clients to run their businesses better and market to consumers more effectively. While staying ahead of the technological curve is a major challenge, it is one that DCI willingly accepts.
“Things change so quickly in this industry,” Minnec explains. “Fortunately we have a great team. Everyone is on the same page; we are all here to make the retail experience more enjoyable for all parties involved.”
As the company moves through its seventh decade of strategic marketing, the DCI team is excited for the challenges to come. “As far as our growth, we are expanding and investing in the best talent across the globe,” Doody says. A strong, growing team will help maintain a leading market position for DCI-Artform in the years to come.