Providing the best direct marketing and professional mailing solutions
DM Plc is one of Britain’s leading direct marketing groups, specialising in the reputable gathering, storing and sharing of consumer information. We combine our expertise in gathering this data with a deep understanding of how our clients can use it to reach their target markets.
The information we gather and store is complex and often highly detailed, which means our clients can identify potential customers for direct marketing and advertising campaigns.
Our clients include blue chip companies which rely on the quality and integrity of our data to plan and carry out precise, effective marketing campaigns.
In our highly networked world, consumers can choose from millions of products, so companies rely on our data to reach their customers effectively. As a result, our work helps to generate billions of pounds in value for our clients.
To meet their exacting demands, we have divided our work into two mutually supporting divisions: customer recruitment and database management. The first gathers the information, while the second manages that data and makes it available to clients.
Customer Recruitment Division
The DM Plc Customer Recruitment Division is responsible for game and survey design and is how we first interact with individual consumers. They submit data either through online surveys or in return for playing our popular games.
As well as online recruitment, the Customer Recruitment Division sends out postal surveys. More than five million customers have responded to surveys sent out by just one DM Plc subsidiary, Response Direct Publishing.
This offline approach generates high-quality information, because customers take the time to fill out and send back a printed survey. We’re especially proud that some individual customers have responded consistently to these surveys for around 20 years. This diverse approach means we can detect changes in consumer intent and behaviour, changes which represent priceless business intelligence for many of our clients.
Database Management Division
The success of the Customer Recruitment Division is reflected by the fact that we now have a database of more than eight million individual consumers, the largest response database in the UK.
This gives DM Plc unparalleled access to consumer telephone and email data, which we can use to help our clients generate valuable online and offline leads.
Clients can also rest assured that the information is gathered and stored ethically, with all our data protected to ensure it is safe and that we abide by the spirit and letter of GDPR, the EU’s strict rules on data protection.
At DM plc, we are very aware of security threats posed by hackers who want to steal such sensitive and valuable information. To counter this threat, our security experts have installed the latest software to protect its customers’ data, and are constantly monitoring potential threats.
This attention to detail means we have high quality and reliable information, and that information is invaluable to companies trying to target their advertising and promotional material at the most appropriate customers.
DM Plc works with these corporate to ensure a good match with the individual customers in its database.
The origins of DM Plc
DM Plc traces its existence to the pre-internet era of 1993. That was when our Chairman and Chief Executive, Adrian Williams, founded his Strike Lucky company – to design gamecards which were included in magazines and newspapers.
Since then, the business has grown tremendously through a strategy of acquiring businesses that add to our diversity and strength, and in 2004, we changed our name to DM Plc.
Strike Lucky built a successful business from customers using our popular gamecards in magazines and newspaper, with winners paying a small amount to use premium rate lines when claiming prizes. We also gathered relevant data from our customers and sold or rented that information to other organisations.
The company was bought out in 2004 by Hawthorn Holdings in a reverse takeover, with Adrian Williams becoming Chairman and Chief Executive of the new company, which was renamed DM Plc.
Rapid growth through acquisitions
In 2005, DM Plc began a period of rapid growth as we took over a second game design company, Purely Creative, and in 2006 we bought Dodd Marketing, a company specialising in managing customer databases.
This expansion continued in 2008, when we acquired DLG, one of the largest providers of consumer lifestyle data to the UK’s direct marketing industry. DLG was in administration at the time, due to impact of the credit crunch, but the appointment by DM Plc of Jeremy Whittaker as CEO soon helped to return the company to profitability.
In 2009, DM Plc acquired online and offline lead generation company PDV, continuing the process of diversifying the group into online direct marketing mailings and the customer lifestyle sector.
Adrian Williams said at the time that the move would “provide the Group with new growth opportunities and allow us to offer an integrated service to a wide range of customers”.
Thriving despite the financial crisis
By the middle of 2009, as the British economy was dealing with the financial crisis and direct marketing activity dropped, DM plc still managed to report a 55% increase in turnover to £11.6 million.
Adrian Williams said at the time that, despite the challenging financial climate, “with the acquisitions of DLG and PDV we have now diversified the Group into the influential online direct marketing and customer lifestyle sector which will provide the Group with new growth opportunities and will allow us to offer an integrated service to a wide range of customers.”
In January 2012, Adrian Williams bought the company outright, taking it off the London Stock Exchange.
The challenge and opportunity of GDPR
Having coped well with the financial crisis, DM Plc faced a new challenge when the EU voted in 2016 to introduce GDPR, which is designed to protect people’s personal data. Many companies reduced their marketing activities as they worked to ensure compliance ahead of the new regulation coming into force in 2018.
As well as preparing our own databases and procedures to ensure GDPR compliance, in 2017 DM Plc bought Transactis, a direct marketing cooperative. Transactis supported the marketing activities of some of the UK’s leading mail order, catalogue and multi-channel retailers.
DM Plc today: sophisticated online and offline lead generation
We’ve grown beyond recognition from those early days, with eight trading companies within the DM Plc group. The companies are organised into two divisions, whose work complements each other to bring in new individual customers and manage their valuable information effectively.
Group financial performance
At DM Plc, we’ve been expanding steadily since 2004, weathering storms like the financial crisis by diversifying and ensuring we’re prepared for new developments in technology.
For the year ending in December 2017, DM Plc reported a turnover of more than £10.2 million, with pre-tax profits up to more than £700,000. We also increased our cash surplus to around £4.75m. A successful investment programme meant we increased our capital value by more than £1m during the year.
Prepared for the future of the direct marketing
As the 21st century evolves, the direct marketing sector is changing rapidly as it becomes easier to tailor marketing campaigns to the individual needs of each consumer.
Our clients rely more than ever on the high-quality data we specialise in gathering and managing, and we’re proud to play a role in the success of some of Britain’s best-known companies.
We are excited about the opportunities provided new and emerging market opportunities, while also committed to maintaining the quality and security of our consumer database.