Our Modus Operandi

Dirigo has developed a reputation for creating compelling and integrative marketing solutions for its clients. We work with new and established businesses, primarily in the $2-30 million annual revenue range. Our roots are in pure-play technical marketing where the Internet is the primary mode of operation. Clicks and bricks (offline and online operators) and traditional bricks and mortar offline operators make-up approximately 30% of our portfolio.

So, what is Dirigo? Dirigo is a think tank of sorts, bringing its expertise, strategic thinking, research, and analyses to decision making. We enjoy working with entrepreneurs who have ideas, passion, and the desire to bring new and existing products or services to market.

We have spent more than ten years developing our modus operandi—and it works. Our staff has more than a century of traditional and digital marketing, branding and planning, feasibility studies and competitive intelligence, information technology, e-commerce, search engine optimization, pay-per-click strategies, and direct response experience. We like to say that we're technical marketers, a band of strategists, planners, and computer programmers engaged in marketing, branding, and selling. We have diverse backgrounds, varied education, and a sundry of perspectives. What is the same, though, is that Dirigo develops custom and integrative solutions to complex problems to support our clients' business models and grow their revenue and profitability.

While we are primarily focused on businesses serving end consumers with products and/or services (B2C or business-to-consumer clients), we fully support manufacturing and wholesale operators in the supply chain (B2B or business-to-business clients). Our client base is generally in a narrow set of sectors enabling Dirigo to have a deep understanding of banking, financial services, health care, automotive, ski, cosmeceuticals, nutraceuticals, and creative play/imagination.

What is Dirigo's strategy and how do we do it?  Our strategy is remarkably commonsensical: we listen to our clients. We ask questions. We delve into best practices and engage in research. We leverage our years of expertise to benefit our clients. We practice what we preach inside of our own organization and with our own brands. We build trust with our clients and we ask our clients to trust us. And we use a variety of strategies and processes based on the client's goals. We partner closely with our clients and share in their successes and occasionally, their failures. Bottom line: we are complex problem solvers.

Some clients need a new brand, new collateral materials, and a revamp of their brand strategy and offline and Internet presences. Other situations demand an entirely new Internet presence, website infrastructure, and e-commerce system, using the existing brand. Still others need support negotiating with domainers or domain squatters in the purchase of one or more previously-purchased universe resource locators (URLs). We help shutter rogue Internet sites or phishing sites using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). We place media buys, send commercial e-mail, build microsites, devlop ad campaigns and convert customers into social fans. Finally, a hefty band of our client-partners are direct response marketers. These clients focus on selling, media spend, attributing online and offline sales to advertising campaigns, conversion and acquisition optimization, lifetime value, and client retention. We carefully scrutinize prospective clients, who are interested in working with Dirigo for likelihood of success, conflicts of interest with our current client portfolio, and a host of other factors.

Regardless of the type of client engagement, we use a 3-D (definition-design-deliver) process to achieve project goals. The Dirigo team regularly engages the client at the beginning, at key milestones, and at the end of the project. The milestones are dependent upon the work scope. Below is a representative sample of work components, which may be included in a work engagement:

  1. Identify opportunities; analyze the client's organization and its brand, messaging, and any existing online and offline presences.
  2. Conduct competitive intelligence and/or feasibility assessments.
  3. Develop brand positioning and identify business issues; identify project scope, create project team, create project charter, and develop a high-level budget and timeline.
  4. Develop a project requirements document and project plan; provide insight to define what work packages are required to facilitate project execution.
  5. Develop work packages (a work package is a subset of a project that can be assigned to a specific party for execution); refine the timeline and budget and execute on work packages.
  6. Freeze code and content to engage in testing and quality assurance.
  7. Launch project; educate and train client as needed.
  8. Test in the market and validate acquisition assumptions, optimize end-to-end customer experience, expand offline and online presences, and constantly innovate.
  9. Collect feedback so that our process can be refined.
  10. Continue (or conclude) client relationship.

Back to the commonsensical: every client is different and every Dirigo solution is distinct to match that unique value proposition. An integration of functional (e.g. well-designed and easy-to-read) marketing materials (including traditional offline marketing collateral, and website and other online modalities), optimized user interface, compelling calls-to-action, and strong end-user marketing search functionality components with the client's marketing mix is the key to success.

Marketing and Strategic Planning and Technology Solutions

Our team develops and executes custom solutions using a wide variety of business tools that include: modeling and matrices; assessments and feasibility studies; competitive intelligence and new market evaluations; computer software, hardware, and technologies; various computer appliances including detection and prevention systems; online and offline analytics and dashboards; marketing research; strategic planning; new market and product launches, and exit planning; and facilitation services to our clients.

Marketing, Strategic Planning, and Execution

  • Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats analysis (SWOT)
  • Political, Economic, Social and Technological analysis (PEST)
  • Boston Consulting Group matrix planning
  • Pro-forma and post-product/program evaluation
  • Brand positioning, including logo and tag development
  • Business case modeling, issue framing, market segmentation, and other secondary research methods
  • Leadership and staff talent evaluation
  • Invention and innovation analyses, including patient applications
  • Competitive and business environment intelligence
  • Feasibility studies (e.g. new or expanded markets, distribution channels, pricing, products)
  • Analytics, key performance indicators, and dashboards
  • Quantitative and qualitative marketing research
  • Strategic, tactical, line of business, product, marketing, and business environment planning
  • Proactive and crisis public relations planning
  • Systemic process improvement
  • Relationship building to facilitate optimal partnerships with thought leaders (e.g. regulators, legislators, media, businesses, etc.)
  • Vision and mission development, including frameworks for cultural change
  • And much more ...

We partner with our clients to help them their achieve goals by setting SMART (e.g. specific, measureable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) goals and prioritizing them. Some companies excel at developing long-term plans (e.g. 3-5 years), others create shorter-term plans (e.g. 1-3 years). Either way, the key is to use the plan as a road map, to review, and augment (as needed) the plan according to changes in the business, periods of economic growth or constriction, and changes in the 5Ps (e.g. product, price, promotion, place/distribution, and the profitability of the business).

Connect with Dirigo Design & Development and connect with your goals

Achieving success in your business is more than your organization's products and services. And it's much more than an organization's brand and its leadership team. Dirigo is an experienced integrative marketing organization that works with many businesses to help them achieve goals using a myriad of best practices like those noted above. If your business seeks higher revenues, call us at 207.358.2990. We're here to help you connect with your customers and grow your organization.

Principal Authors: Victoria Kuhn and David Addison
Date of Publication: 01/06/2009
Updated: 02/09/2015

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