By its 90-day mark, Exact Media had already generated roughly $1 million in sales. Co-founded by Daniel Rodic, the Toronto-based company is reinventing direct mail for the age of ecommerce. Since its 2013 launch, it has gained attention (and marketing dollars) from Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble.
Instead of sampling on the street, Exact Media pairs samples with ecommerce purchases from a vast network of retailers including Walmart, Asos, Best Buy and Toy “R” Us. By pairing samples with ecommerce purchases, he’s made the sampling process contextual. Selling sun block? Exact media will send samples to consumers who just purchased bathing suits. And using retailer data, Exact Media can make direct mail highly targeted too, whether a brand wants to get in front of new moms, comic book fans or fashion lovers.
The clever proposition landed Rodic a steady stream of top tier clients and partners, both on the retail and brand side. Exact Media counts all the major CPG companies as customers including Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble; the last of which is its largest customer.
Marketers are flocking to Rodic, 26, and Exact Media because it offers what traditional sampling doesn’t: targeting and a detailed look at return on investment. As Pia Ghosh, a senior brand manager at L’Oréal, explains, sampling is expensive and full of losses – it’s hard to say who accepted a sample on the street, and impossible to say whether they converted. So when Ghosh was looking for a way to target high-income females for a new RevitaLift product earlier this year, she turned to Exact Media.
“We found women really appreciated this personalized trial program. They liked being identified as someone who might like this product, ” she says.
That campaign over-performed on objectives and delivered a much higher conversion rate than what market research had pegged for traditional sampling, she adds.
Walking into a meeting post-campaign armed with KPIs, which is unheard of in sampling, was an added bonus. “The future of Exact Media is very bright,” Ghosh says.
Around its 90-day anniversary, Exact Media opened a second office in Cincinnati to service clients in the U.S.
Speaking of the break-neck pace, Rodic says, “Every three months we’d look back and say, ‘Did that really just happen?’”
Today Exact Media has a network of 140 million consumers, allowing it to reach just about any target imaginable, and has shipped over 20 million samples to consumers.
Rodic is now busy building out the company’s offering beyond sampling. Marketers, for example, can now buy advertising takeovers on retailer sites via an Exact Media buy. Rodic says he’s also looking at new types of physical marketing he can incorporate into Exact Media’s offering.
Rodic sees a world of untapped potential for Exact Media. The company has a network of retailers in the U.K. in addition to its two offices in North America, and Rodic has his eye on other markets, too.
“Anywhere you see ecommerce growth is on our radar.”
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