Disrupt an Industry + Direct Mail in Digital – Dave Fink, Postie (former Dollar Shave Club) – Epsiode 78

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Stand out in your industry. First-hand account of what it was like the first five years of Dollar Shave Club’s explosive disruption in the razor industry?  What did they do to make their story resonate w/their audience?  And, how to use direct mail in the digital age through advanced metric-driven company, Postie. CEO Dave Fink unpacks his experiences to help you in your business.

THIS EPISODE AT-A-GLANCE

  • The first five years of Dollar Shave Club’s explosive growth.
  • How the marketing team built such a strong connection with the Dollar Shave Club’s audience.
  • Postie: How to run powerful Direct Mail campaigns just like you run digital ads.
  • How to leverage storytelling fundamentals to stand out.

Links mentioned in episode

Full Podcast Transcription

Sarah Panus:
Hi, my name is Sarah Panus. I have spent the last two decades driving digital content for billion dollar brands. Now I help content marketers build winning brand storytelling strategies and reduce feelings of overwhelm and confusion. Join me as we discuss strategy, creativity, confidence, and building a better connection with your audience. Think of this as a creative content marketing jam session mixed with chicken soup for the soul. This is the Marketing With Empathy podcast. 

Sarah Panus:
Dave, welcome to the show!

Dave Fink:
Thanks for having me. I’ve been looking forward to speaking with you since this got scheduled.

Sarah Panus:
Likewise. Okay, well, we’ll start back in your Dollar Shave Club days. So I know in 2011, a man walked into Science, Inc, which was the startup studio where you had recently become principal at the time. And he was there to pitch a curious idea, right? A subscription razor service and five years later, Dollar Shave Club sold to Unilever for $1 billion. Dollar Shave Club majorly disrupted the razor industry. So I would love to hear about your experiences with that. And so my first question is, what was it like during those first five years with the brand?

The BEGINNING of Dollar Shave Club

Dave Fink:
Well, how many hours do we have here? It was an absolute master class in disruption, creativity execution. I mean, if there was going to be a movie on building a D TOC brand and taking on a behemoth you know, the Davely story, yeah that would be it. And that doesn’t happen very often, right? Like typically, you know, you hear these crazy stories and it seems like it was all easy and everything kinda went smoothly. And very rarely is that the case but just those facts that you shared, which is, Mike Dubin who’s just a brilliant creative marketing mind who developed into a really capable entrepreneur. He had a pallet of razors, a really, really crummy rough sketch of a website and a rough kind of a really funny viral video that was like his entire asset package.

Dave Fink:
And like you said, less than five years later, there was a billion dollar exit to one of the largest CPG conglomerates in the world. Right? Think about how fast four and a half to five years goes. And I can tell you it doesn’t mean that it was perfect and everything was planned, but it really was in many cases the fairy tale. The, you know, any entrepreneur closes his or her mind and thinks about what it’s like to build a startup. Maybe from a naive perspective, like it was about as close to that as possible and I can share some specifics. If you’d like examples, one is, it’s 2011 and I think everyone listening to this program takes for granted, you know, the platforms that the big social media giants, right?

Dave Fink:
We know what Facebook is. We know what Instagram is now, TikTok. You know, we know what YouTube is, but back in 2011, what is that 11 years ago? That wasn’t the case, right? I mean, YouTube existed and there was a lot of content and Facebook was kind of just becoming Facebook that the power that we note but brands weren’t accelerating storytelling, you know, generating global awareness on those platforms at that point. Dollar Shave Club, it was that meteoric overnight sensation launch that was very well crafted and planned. It wasn’t a dumb luck type of thing. You know, Mike put a lot of hard work into the scripting, the storytelling, the kind of that first person viral video genre that now has been replicated so many times with so many brands.

Dave Fink:
That really was his creation. And then he had a launch strategy. So wasn’t like, you could just create a funny video and all of a sudden become discovered. I mean, he was very thoughtful and his team was very thoughtful in how they were going to kinda seed that video into the world. But what nobody expected was within 24 hours that video, I don’t even remember the exact numbers anymore, but the number of video views and how that translated into this movement of, yeah you know, overcharging us, they’re taking advantage of us. Like yeah, let’s stick it to, you know, let’s stick it to them. And with the first 24 hours, the Dollar Shave Club website was taken offline because it could handle the traffic. It was rebuilt, the backend infrastructure literally overnight. All of us had science as well as the small, at that point, skeleton Dollar Shave Club team were literally handling all the fulfillment and distribution of razors. There were, you know, zebra thermal printers printing labels around the clock where the labels were just running up and down the aisles of the startup studio. I mean, it was really was craziness. Right? That was the launch story of Dollar Shave Club. It’s not made up. It really was the storybook sensation.

Sarah Panus:
That’s amazing! Right? It’s like the dream outcome of what you’d want when you have a startup. That they, but they obviously tapped into a shared human thought that a lot of people really resonated with and were like, yeah, I resonate with the fact that I’m paying too much for my razors. And this sounds like a great idea. So from a marketing side, then what did your. Tell us more about what your marketing team did to build such a strong connection with the Dollar Shave Club’s audience? Was it really all focused around that video or like what other things happened as part of that?

How the marketing team built such a strong connection with the Dollar Shave Club’s Audience

Dave Fink:
Well, certainly first of all, I want to make sure the Dollar Shave Club team gets all the credit. There was an amazing CMO that joined the team very early on named Adam Weber, who came out of Proctor and Gamble. And he’s brilliant, you know, marketer leader, close friend. He’s actually an investor in Postie. The company that I’m CEO of and the Dollar Shave Club team definitely was the owners of their own destiny. I was, as you mentioned, one of the finding partners at Science and we did have a big infrastructure and marketing studio that rallied around Dollar Shave Club. And you have about 75 other brands and helped out with everything from strategy to growth marketing and customer acquisition and retention and tooling and all that to kind of set this story straight.

Dave Fink:
We were involved in that business all the way through the end, but the Dollar Shave Club business was run out of our offices. I would say for the first two years, two and a half years, and in that case we had kind of a hands on front row approach the first couple years. My experience with Dollar Shave Club and the biggest lesson that I took away, something I think that you hold very close that prior to Dollar Shave Club, I don’t know that I believed in as much or understood prior to Dollar Shave Club. I was definitely one of those more programmatic marketing, quantitative marketing minds that thought very much in the tactics and behavioral, you know, economic executional strategies. Things ranging from copywriting tactics and how to get dopamine firing in people’s brains and button colors and font sizes and storytelling through a scroll versus clicks. You know, all those things that I thought for many years were kind of the end all be like, it was a series of tactics that led to a strong P and L that Dollar Shave Club taught me very convincingly very quickly that the tactics are fine.

Dave Fink:
But I think that the reason that Dollar Shave Club was as successful as it was, was because they knew what their mission was from the start they invested in. You know, in a blend of storytelling through entertainment that resonated with the pain point and the perceived pain point that consumers had that they were trying to solve. And then you layer on, you know, marketing channels and customer acquisition and CRM engagement and all of a sudden you have a really loyal customer base and a meaningful business. It wasn’t very, you know, far after the launch that, that like Mike Dubin was being invited to every major college around the country to give seminars on how to create a viral video and how brand marketing and the age of social media remember like they were definitively the first brand to become a national and international sensation because of storytelling and social media.

Dave Fink:
And now the expectation is that if you’re launching a brand, a product, a service, if you’re a traditional incumbent brand, and you’re launching something new, you have a social media marketing strategy. But in 2010, 2011, that wasn’t the case. They were the first to kinda teach the world that the power of social distribution and engaging your customers through these social platforms. Now it’s harder as well, because everybody’s trying to compete hence why we decided to do something. I think counterintuitive kind of stepping towards a non-digital channel to provide value to the marketing ecosystem. But back then, I mean, look, nobody had any idea the impact that that launch strategy would have on that business.

Sarah Panus:
Yeah. I remember when it came out, I remember seeing it and being aware obviously of Dollar Shave Club and for me, cuz at that time I would’ve been running social and influencer content for sleep number in house and observing. That was really interesting. Cause I remember thinking it was like the first time I had seen a brand be really like face to camera and kind of cheeky and really on point about like the issue, but like the tone was very different than what you were used to seeing. So to your point of it really started this new kind of, I feel like comfort level for businesses to be extra relatable as maybe that it’s an oversimplification but like instead of being so corporate buttoned up, it was just the true voice of the customer I felt like was coming through. Which is why I think in the storytelling it resonated so well it hit the point. I talk about an empathy filter, like what’s the reason that story is gonna connect. And obviously they had a very smart idea and it worked. So that is amazing.

Dave Fink:
Yeah there was a certain playful of reverence to the tone and look. I mean, Mike delivered for those that aren’t aware, Mike Dubin, the founder and CEO of Dollar Shave Club is the quote actor that carried that initial video. He’s charming, he’s likable, he is relatable that comes through. He’s just a hysterical guy. So the person you see on that video, actually is very much the actual, Mike Dubin. And I think humor goes a long way. It was a, there’s probably a ton of risk in that video, but it was a brand new startup. I think at that point the worst case was that, okay, like didn’t do anything, but certainly there’s no risk if you’re trying to sell your first razor through the internet. As it turned out, it was a good risk paid off.

Dave Fink:
So if you’re a brand that has a very different tone behind it and all of a sudden you see Dollar Shave Club success, don’t chase that. Right? So and we saw that all the time, you know, entrepreneurs even more established brands would show up in our office and say, oh my goodness I need a viral video just as good as Dollar Shave Club. Can you make a viral video for us? One, Mike Dubin was the one who actually wrote, directed, scripted that video. So it wasn’t like there was a formula that we had at Science. It was lightning in a bottle by just a really creative mind. But the lesson is like, you can’t create that same type of irreverent comedic tone.

Dave Fink:
If that’s not authentic to your brand, you, you might have a more scientific approach or a more serious approach. Your audience may be different. It might be a different product category that there already is a leader in the space that takes a humor, you know, humorous perspective. Whereas, there was one dominant beast in the men’s grooming category that was Gillette. And it was always, as the video reference, you paying athletes like Roger Feder, you know, hundreds of millions of dollars to be really serious about the promotion of the brand. And so it stood out differently. So I think to marketers in general, you wanna be a study of consumer sentiment. You need to be aware of kinda where we are as various cultures and civilizations and understand your audience very well. And then make marketing decisions, storytelling decisions, brand decisions on, you know, what’s appropriate for your brand versus saying, Hey, let’s just go replicate what Dollar Shave Club did because Dollar Shave that was so successful.

Sarah Panus:
Yeah. Well, that’s a great example of a company that definitely disrupted an industry and leaned into storytelling to, and really understood their audience and was their own voice and tone. And it worked. So I would love to switch gears then to now. What you do now, its current day, you’re the CEO of Postie. And tell us a little bit more about what Postie is first and who you helped.

POSTIE: a Digital marketing solution

Dave Fink:
Sure. So Postie is another one of those businesses that was created. I think authentically out of a pain point that we as marketers had so in the past, you know, call it 10 years. We went from this time and space where a company like Dollar Shave Club could go from zero like 4 million customers, you know, really what felt like overnight because the rise of social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram to a world where every marketer has worked really hard to de develop expertise on those platforms. And those platforms being marketplaces became really oversaturated, very expensive and very hard to find any blue sky. And so for us that the pain really started hitting probably about 2016 and we were looking around and it’s just like that’s gonna be the point where. Especially in like holiday season like we were having to make decisions like, do we just shut down all of our Facebook, you know, marketing budget because it’s so expensive and not profitable.

Dave Fink:
Are we willing to accept, yeah. Unprofitable customers for growth sake and we’re like, wow, those are two really terrible decisions. Either one of ’em is a pain point. And, and so we started looking and exploring other digital initially channels, like what else is big and unsaturated untapped that that could help us tell our story and reach our addressable markets and there really wasn’t anything, TikTok wasn’t a thing at that point. Snapchat didn’t have an ads platform to be quite honest back at that point, Instagram wasn’t even really as powerful of a platform as it is now from a marketing perspective. And so that pushed us to spend more time offline. And because, you know, the whole world has moved to this quantitative approach to marketing, right?

Dave Fink:
Like how, how do you leverage, you know, data and prediction and measurement and optimization to, you know, ensure that you’re getting the maximum value for, from each dollar that you’re spending in the distribution world and in the offline world the one channel that started to kind of line up with how we think about, you know, really digital programmatic media channels was direct mail. And, and we got really excited about it. We loved the scale, right? It’s 20% bigger than even Facebook or Google, anybody with a physical addresses, reachable there’s, you know, abilities to use your first party and third party data in very similar ways to build lookalike audiences, to do programmatic campaigns, to run very targeted and optimized CRM initiatives. And then there’s measurement, especially for brands that have, you know, have a way to capture consumer transaction data.

Dave Fink:
And so we got really excited about it. And as marketers, we set out to start testing some campaigns and we learned really quickly that the way that you execute direct mail has not changed in 30 years, it’s slow, it’s clunky, it’s, you know, accent prone, it’s analog. And that just didn’t, it just didn’t line up with the sophistication and dynamic expectation that we have with, with our marketing initiatives these days. And so what post emission is from and was from the start was can we build a technology layer that looks and acts and gives us the tools that our favorite digital channels have, whether those are programmatic platforms like trade desk or social platforms like Facebook or search platforms like Google and the hypothesis that if, if we could, you know, solve the executional challenges that the channel has, all of a sudden this channel could be even more powerful than it than it currently is. So that’s what post is to summarize. It’s a technology channel management solution that behaves like a digital platform making direct mail as accessible in dynamic as, as your favorite digital channels.

Sarah Panus:
Awesome. And I know you’ve made the statement that you believe direct mail is the best kept secret in marketing. Tell us more about that. I’m assuming, because obviously a lot of people have been all, you know, everything went to digital and so not as many people maybe are doing direct mail, but tell me more about direct mail and why you think it is the best kept secret in marketing.

The best kept secret in marketing

Dave Fink:
Sure. Well, first of all, t’s a little bit tongue in cheek because it is a 50 billion media channel here in the us, it, it’s a behemoth. A lot of those dollars are flowing from big traditional incumbent categories, like finance and insurance and automotive but you know traditional big box retail as well has leaned into DM. What’s happened is there’s been two, I think buckets of, of marketers. There’s been the traditional marketer who has historically built up the DM channel that has been motivated to migrate those budgets to these new emerging digital channels. And then you have the other kind of more modern newer marketer who became a marketer during an age of digital and never had a need to think beyond digital. And so those two groups of individuals are now in a position where or not even just individuals, but teams, right, are now in a position where like we were back in 2016 are overdependent on really two behemoths that have become harder and harder to find profitable paths to growth.

Dave Fink:
And that a challenge. I mean, that’s a real problem. When you think about something, I think in the venture world, they talk about 40 cents of every venture dollar raised indirectly goes into Facebook’s pockets because it’s marketing budgets and those companies are grow at all costs. And I’ve heard that 85 cents on every dollar in digital media, which is a behemoth now goes into Facebook and Google.

Dave Fink:
So when you think about 80%, those two data points you like, yeah. It’s not surprising that if, if you’re all in on those two channels, it probably means you’re not running a profitable growth strategy. It’s just not possible. If you’re competing with every one of those, you know, billions and billions of ad dollars for the same impressions, you know, cost goes up, performance goes down and you have to think about an omnichannel approach. And so for us, I think it’s no different than Dollar Shave Club, you know, launching at a time before social was really proven to be this powerful challenge saying like, Hey, I think there’s a way to cut into market share of, you know a behemoth that owns 80% of its category by you leveraging these new emerging channels. Now it’s, it’s just counterculture, right? It’s saying it’s, it’s the same thing it’s saying, Hey, you know, everybody, you know, every brand is, is all in on Facebook and Google. If we wanna be smart and find more efficient growth we have to think outside the box, we have to find other channels that are not as set are not overly saturated. You know, as, as those two.

Sarah Panus:
Definitely. Okay. And so from your experience, then, how do you think companies can leverage storytelling fundamentals to stand out in this world that is obsessed with shiny widgets and shortsighted marketing tactics?

How to leverage storytelling fundamentals to stand out

Dave Fink:
Yeah, for again, it’s I’m a broker record here, but I, I do, you know, preach the concept of, of being a authentic and committed to your authentic, you know, self as a, as a company that certainly stems with leadership being really communicative internally certainly through the marketing team through the product marketing team but really every every employee contractor service provider involved in a business should have a very clear fundamental understanding of the mission, the brand position, the value propositions, the benefit statements, etc. And then from there t’s about understanding your customer. And, and so I think marketers today use the term addressability, meaning we’re now in a world where we’re closer or directly communicating with the line share of consumers that engage with our brand, which means that, you know, we have the opportunity to really lean in more about these, these different consumer segments individuals, why they’re engaging with our brand, why they believe we’re solving you know, a problem or adding value into their lives.

Dave Fink:
And that insight can help ensure that not only do we understand what our brand position and our messaging and our missions are, but it can ensure that we’re presenting that properly and that messaging’s landing. And then once you kind of get that, those core fundamental infrastructure built in, in your insights and storytelling admission, then it becomes how do you translate that into messaging and storytelling across each channel in a way that’s appropriate for that channel, but doesn’t deviate from kind of your core authentic self. So it’s not about as much about like what’s the tactic that I use to drive the highest clickthrough rate on a YouTube, you know, pre-roll or interstitial, or get the highest engagement rate on a direct mail piece, or get the highest open rate on email. I think that good things come to brands and marketers that invest more, and what’s the appropriate way to reinforce the message that we’ve worked so hard to identify that represents our brand on each of these channels. And if we do that consistently and repetitively and leverage data and targeting appropriately, you put that all together and you have a really good shot at building something lasting and meaningful and performing

Sarah Panus:
Definitely a hundred percent agree. I’m curious, can you think of any of like your clients either now or in the past that you feel have done that really well? Like just to share an example of how that came to life for, for another brand?

Dave Fink:
Sure. I mean, I can take it, there are two direct mail concepts or two concepts in our world that, that come to mind on the fly. Yeah. I’m sure there are thousands of ’em, but one is, there was a this is kind of a fast growth category disruptor that was in the the pet space focused on dogs in particular. And they, they designed creative that not only told their story from the right lifestyle, imagery and, and content, but they also designed the piece of mal as an origami kind of step by step instruction manual for how you fold their, in this case oversized postcard into a poop

Sarah Panus:
That’s brilliant, super cool.

Dave Fink:
It was like super, super on point. Funny. It didn’t interfere with the overall value proposition. They were communicating on through the creative, but it added value. It put a smirk on every recipient’s every target audience member’s face. And and it was memorable. Another another a leisure wear brand that, that was competing in a really saturated market, right? The kind of the women’s a leisure, yoga space designed a piece that unfolds and then is a step by step guide to a few key yoga poses. And of course, you know, each of the images and the yoga poses were featuring model wearing their apparel. I think when you entertain and you’re authentic to your brand, and you’re engaging, you get an extra few minutes with and time is everything right now.

Dave Fink:
Right? You know, you know Instagram feed ad like goes by in a split second. Like nobody remembers something. Yeah. Like they’ll need the only people that remember Instagram ad are those that have also seen TV spots and billboards and direct mail pieces and three dozen emails and a bunch of retarding display ads, like, but there are ways that you can delight and entertain, reinforce your message on really any media channel that, that if you do it really well, you can capture a few extra seconds, another minute of a consumer’s mind share which is relationship

Sarah Panus:
Yeah. And I think in like the direct mail we’re I just think about like the mail I get personally. And then I’m also a marketer. So I think about these things when I get them in the mail, but like, you’re right. It’s like the pieces that are gonna give you that extra value. I love the interactivity of the origami pooper scooper. I think that’s brilliant, but something that makes you want to open it, consume it versus throwing it in the recycle bin. Right? Like that’s ultimately the goal. You wanna make sure they’re seeing it. But I think part of it goes hand in hand, too, with an earlier comment you made about, obviously the brand has to have a great product and a great service to let the customer is open and excited to actually see something from you in your mailbox.

Sarah Panus:
Right? And curious, but then it has to deliver on giving them that value. I had something I remember once from like, I do a lot of those different food delivery services. And I remember one of them had done like a great printout that was around like cooking conversions. And it was nicely sized. So like one cup equals blank. Like how many of this is in half a gallon? You know, those kind of things. And for me, I was like, oh, that’s actually really helpful. Cause I often have to be like, okay, I’m doubling this. Or if I’m having this recipe, what do I need to do? And just my other cooking. So I actually like taped that up on the inside of my cabinet in my kitchen. So, and it’s branded, you know, with this, this, this company’s name. So that was another great example for me. It was just like that value of, they knew, obviously I’m cooking, I’m cooking their food where everything’s already portioned out, but I’m doing other cooking besides what they give me. So I, I appreciated that. And I like your yoga example too, because I could see people like putting that up in their workout room or snapping a picture of it and bringing it with them to the gym or, you know, if they’re working out at the gym too.

Dave Fink:
Yeah. You know, when, when we were first starting to kinda explore the idea of building postie I had was able to kind of be on a fly on the, a fly on the wall, watching my wife engage with a piece of direct mail. And you brought up the food delivery category. It was another known brand in the space that was just starting to experiment with direct mail. I think they became a, a customer shortly thereafter. We, we received a piece of, of mail and I think it was, you know, one of the kind of standard offers X number of free, you know, meals or whatnot. And, and I think this is one of the pre, the preprepared meals. So not, not like the doing yourself kits. And I, my wife took that specific you know, advertisement out of a pile now, and it sat her kitchen table for easily a week.

Dave Fink:
Maybe longer. And then I, I noticed it was gone. I deliberately didn’t say anything. I just wanted to watch the experience and, and learn something. And and, and then I, I actually noticed it, it had made its way onto a section of our, you know, our kitchen island where kind of recipes and pieces of paper that that we’re saving set. And then it was like two weeks later. So we’re talking about like all in three or four weeks after that piece of mail caught my wife’s attention, I came home and I opened the freezer and there were like a dozen meals in, in the freezer. And I just thought, holy cow, right? It’s in a digital ad. It’s you need to, you need so much frequency and repetition, but that, that single piece of direct mail probably got a thousand impressions, right?

Dave Fink:
Every morning, every evening, multiple times and eventually, you know, the consumer in this case, my wife decided to take action on it. And that to me became, okay, now I get the power of, of direct mail compared to different ad channels. And the reason that’s important is because, you know, direct mail has a different cost basis than a newsfeed ad or a programmatic display impression or retargeting ad, but it’s not a one-to-one measure. It’s not, you know, in indirect mail, you’re talking about the individuals that you’re reaching, many of whom you might be, you might be in front of for weeks on end versus just how many ads you, you serve on a digital channel, because what, you know, that ad is served. You either click on it or it’s gone, but with a channel like direct mail or out of home you know, th the, there is a lasting effect. And and for that reason, every channel can be profitable. You just have to go into it kind of understanding why it might be profitable and having some confidence in being able to you know, leverage, you know, leverage the channel for what it’s good at doing.

Sarah Panus:
Yeah. And I, I have a follow up question then to that too, which is like for everyone listening, who maybe isn’t leaning into direct mail as much, or they used to, and they’ve kind of switched gears and went digital, and they’re hearing this thinking, Hmm, maybe we should do some more there. I mean, from a targeting perspective, you mentioned, you know, what you created as being able to really target through direct mail, just with the capabilities that you do in the digital side. Could you give like a, just a top line on, like, what are the targeting capabilities with direct mail? Like how deep can you go into like, insights of who you’re mailing to.

Dave Fink:
it’s incredibly powerful. So the first thing I to note is that that direct mails is a channel that can be leveraged anywhere in the funnel. So, you know, we break it out into kind of three different groupings of campaign types to help the marketer kind of organized, you know, his or her thoughts. You know, it’s an incredibly scalable, effective customer acquisition or prospecting tool. So net new customers, it has just tried and true performance driver for CRM, whether that’s customer retention, whether that’s tightening up frequency or interval between purchases, increasing AOV re-engaging labs customers. And now with modern technologies, like Postie there’s the ability to run programmatic campaigns where you’re actually integrating with your website for things like retargeting or funnel slash cart, abandonment campaigns, there are lead conversion or email capture conversion campaigns. There are programmatic labs, customer capabilities, like all that stuff is possible.

Dave Fink:
So in the targeting world, when you think about audiences, you know, your first party data is liquid gold. And, you know, when you think about programmatic or CRM opportunities, not only can you leverage the behavioral data that you, you are you know, that you’re gaining insights for from how someone engages with your brand online or on a mobile app website, et cetera, but the posting platform, you could also tap into all sorts of machine learning, kind of accelerants to, to, to help you drive performance by layering on really high quality, credible compliant, third party data sets right on the post data management platform. So you can do things like build cluster analysis and, and gain insights into the unique segments within your CRM. And you can think about activating and, and speaking to them uniquely on the prospecting front, just like you do on social platforms or programmatic platforms, you can build lookalikes from various CRM seed audiences.

Dave Fink:
So you can look at recent purchasers or high average order value customers, or, you know, max lifetime value customers. And you can then train lookalikes with a matter of cl of clicks from the post data management platform that pulls in all of this amazing third party quality data. That’s highly predictive to find customer or prospect segments that look most similar to, you know, these various consumer segments. And you’re accelerating your ability to you know, to find audiences that perform within, you know, whatever the KPI that, that you’re holding this channel accountable for. It really is just about anything that you can do on a, on a social platform, on a programmatic platform through email or on a retargeting platform, that’s all enabled you know, in, within direct mal historically, it, it either wasn’t possible to unlock the programmatic capabilities, cuz you do need those integrations and software. And and but, but there were ways to do CRM campaigns and prospecting campaigns. It’s just that the math was less complex. The performance wasn’t as consistent. It took longer times and bigger budgets, longer lead times to execute and learn. And, and we just look at that and, and quite frankly, you know, that that, that the channel can do better. And and, and, and that’s what we focus on day in, day

Sarah Panus:
Out. Excellent. Thank you for that overview. That’s really helpful. Well, we are at times, so we’re gonna be wrapping up, but before we close what’s I would like to just kind of one tip, one piece of advice you have for my listeners on how to better connect with their audiences, what would be like one thing you’d wanna leave everyone with, if after listening to this episode.

Dave Fink:
I would say don’t blur the lines between insights and the authenticity behind how you’re developing your brand. But both of them become really, I have to be really powerful. And, and what I mean by that is you have to lean in deeply and leverage all of the, all of the kind of listening and insight gaining tools that are available now to, to really care about and unlock yeah. Deep understanding around, you know, what your consumers look like, the different segments, why they’re engaging with your product, but you don’t wanna over rotate on the insights that you’re gaining and change your business just to, to please a specific consumer or consumer segment at a specific time in place. If you, you know, if, if you are a business, a product, a service, a brand that has a very, you know kinda mission driven reason for existing, you, you do have to be, you know, authentic and committed to, to that those reasons it has to be organic. And then you use the insights that you gain from your marketing, you’re merchandising your data capture in order to, you know, hold yourself accountable, making sure that you, that the messaging that you’re putting in the world is resonating and is presenting the, that authentic message, but you don’t wanna be chasing, you know, chasing the the right message just to get someone to convert at the expense of the authenticity and, and kind of long term storytelling and brand that you’re developing.

Sarah Panus:
Excellent. All right. So before we close, I wanna get all of your contact information. So people who wanna connect with you or posting know how to reach out to you. So how can people connect with you online? Sure.

Dave Fink:
So if you’re interested in, in, in learning more about Postie, our team’s amazing. We really do invest in hiring just really quality smart folks. And you can find them and us at, at Postie.com, P O S T I E.com. And there’s an opportunity to request a demo or contact from one of our team members. There’s also a ton of quality content that we’re con constantly publishing. Just if you’re look looking to learn, not ready to engage with this yet case studies and best practices and capabilities, the easiest platform to reach me on is LinkedIn David Fink think is my handle.

Sarah Panus:
And, and we’ll get you that in the show notes as well. Yes.

Dave Fink:
Yeah, LinkedIn messenger is a really easy way to reach me.

Sarah Panus:
Excellent. Okay. I will make sure to put those in the show notes folks, which you will see on the link here in this podcast episode description and whatever player you’re listening to right now. I also, as you were talking, Dave, I was thinking for my listeners, I had a earlier podcast episode. That was also on an episode related to something in your inbox where I had David from handwritten with a why instead of an a for handwritten. And he was talking about kind of reimagining like the handwritten note in the digital age, and like how sending out like those digitally written thank you, notes increases consumer responses 23 times. And so that paired with this conversation on how direct mail really is like something that branch should be thinking about. And you can be thinking about how it is evolving. And so that’s why, what I love about what you’re doing at Postie is really the new direct mail marketing and how you do it in the current age. It’s really smart. So if anyone’s interested in that handwritten notes episode to pair and combo with this, cause I think they’re nice and complimentary topics that was episode 37. So you can just scroll back and take a list. Listen to that one. So huge thanks again, Dave, for being on the show. This was great.

Dave Fink:
Thanks for having me awesome conversation. It’s I think it’s always great when I’m engaging in a show that’s hosted by an actual marketer, just a different level of insights that I think we can share.

Dave Fink:
Yeah. So thanks for hosting me.

Sarah Panus:
Of course. All right, folks, will that wraps up today. Big thanks again to Dave Fink from Postie. Check out Postie.com, connect with Dave on LinkedIn and we’ll see you here next week. Until next time, Kindred Speakers.

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Sarah Panus:
If you’re hearing my voice right now, you’re likely a corporate content marketer of some kind looking to level up your brand storytelling career. What would it feel to have the skills, confidence, and know how to advance your brand storytelling results and love the work you’re doing? In an ideal world you and your content team are high level strategic thinkers that know how to humanize your brand to drive seven X engagements and actions. You have the right creative mindset to attract your ideal audience and build brand trust and loyalty through storytelling. You’re viewed as top performers in the company and brand storytelling is valued because it’s driving business results and supporting multiple channel teams. But things don’t always go our way, right? Maybe your brand lacks, a cohesive content strategy. Maybe you and your team are asked to deliver a lot for your company and it’s hard to keep up.

Sarah Panus:
You know you need to invest in figuring out next steps in your company’s brand storytelling plans, but haven’t had the time to figure out how yet. And you need help integrating it across the organization. You personally want to level up your skills because you know, you need to know how to do these things to advance in your career. You want your work to be valued so that you love coming to work each day, attracting leads, increasing repeat, and referral actions or creating a loved brand. And in this competitive market, you’re looking for ways to stay competitive, for yourself or retaining and attracting top talent for your company. That’s why I created the Brand Storytelling Academy, a hands on three month group training program designed to help corporate content marketers attract upper funnel leads that drive bottom funnel results through storytelling. For one sixth of the cost to hire a person on the team or onboard a high level brand storytelling strategist, you and up to five people on your team can be developing and accelerating your brand storytelling skills. Think of it like a college certification program for you and your team, but you get the knowledge a lot quicker and your professor, me, has 20 years of hands on experience guiding you along the way. Curious? Fill out the application at kindredspeak.com/apply to learn more and I’ll be in touch to answer all your questions and discuss if it’s a good fit. Go to kindredspeak.com/apply.

ABOUT SARAH PANUS

Sarah Panus is a brand storytelling marketing strategist, Minnesota mom, and owner of Kindred Speak, LLC, a remote consultancy that helps corporations attract upper-funnel leads that drive bottom-funnel results through storytelling.  Her mission is to add value to the world by humanizing brand+consumer connections. Her online courses teach content professionals inside corporations think like Editorial Directors for their brand to drive stronger results while enjoying their jobs more.  She’s spent the last 20 years helping brands including Sleep Number, Starbucks, Nestle Waters, Christos Bridal, Game Crazy, Cone Inc, and others, speak a kindred language with their audiences, driving brand advocacy and millions in revenue and brand engagements. Learn more at www.kindredspeak.com. Follow Sarah on Instagram and LinkedIn.