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Would you settle for a 30% retention rate? Neither should colleges.

In our last blog, Higher education is desperate to lure more of Gen Z. How will they succeed?,  we focused on how Colleges and Universities are bolstering their efforts to attract Gen Z as new-student enrollments continue to drop. The college strategies we reviewed are applicable to any business looking forward to Gen Z or serving them today. Of course, onboarding is just part of the story. The next challenge for higher education is retention - how to keep Gen Z engaged and enrolled through to graduation.   According to the most recent statistics available, 59.4% of students do not graduate from 4-year institutions and 70% of students do not graduate from 2-year institutions. It’s a sad statistic for our young people, the colleges they attend and our nation as a whole — especially when you consider that a majority are lower-income, minority students who may be the first in their family...

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Super Bowl LIII Ads: SUPER-FUNNY or SUPER-FAIL?

Super Bowl advertisers fearlessly go for the laugh.   With an audience as monstrous and diverse as the Super Bowl, are brands taking a risk by using humor? A study of 6,500 ads by Ace Metrix concluded that humor grabs our attention but seldom motivates action…   “Humorous ads tend to garner higher levels of viewer attention, increased likeability for the ad, and improved willingness to watch the ad again in the future … however, low information and relevance on many funny ads results in creating lower desire for the advertised products than non-funny ads.”   So why are so many brands willing to spend 5 million dollars to generate a chuckle in 30 seconds? Most of us would agree that trying to be funny but failing is far worse than doing nothing at all. Let’s chalk it up to the basic human need to be noticed.   Who was SUPER-FUNNY?   Bud Light differentiated why their flavorless beer is...

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Spotlight On Angela Evans-Evans

How long with DCI and what brought you here? Angela: I’ve been here at Direct Choice for two years. Previously, I was a Senior Accountant for an affordable housing non-profit. Although rewarding, I eventually realized I need a position with a company that was less frenetic and overly stressful. That’s what led me here. What keeps you there? Angela: While I still take on responsibilities beyond accounting, I’ve always thrived at smaller companies. I prefer the friendly atmosphere and respect that everyone has for one another.   What’s the worst job you ever had? For me, it would be my first job as a dishwasher. Angela: I can’t say that any job, even retail work I had through college, was a negative for me. I’ve always learned something valuable and met great people throughout my working life. You have a very calm and composed quality, yet you live a very active life. Tell me a little about that. [caption...

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Lonnie “the man” Bidwell now Director of IT!

Along with the planned expansion of our Information Technology (IT) capabilities comes the advancement of Lonnie Bidwell from Senior Programmer to Director of IT.   Lonnie has been an integral part of Direct Choice for eight years and leads all the agency’s programming functions. During his tenure here, Lonnie has advanced our data processing through new protocols while continually winning accolades from clients.   “The feedback I usually hear from our clients is, “Lonnie’s the man!” He’s not just technically savvy, he’s a people person and a strategic leader.” – Nick Lanzi, President and CEO   In his new role, Lonnie will continue to work in development and data processing for our clients while expanding our IT department’s capabilities beginning in 1Q19....

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IMCA Showcase Awards Recognize DCI

Direct Choice wins a 2018 IMCA Showcase Award! Awards season continues to shower our agency with accolades. Scott Morrison recently returned from The Insurance Marketing & Communications Association (IMCA) annual conference with a Showcase Award in hand for Highmark’s “Be Ready” renewal campaign. We are excited for everyone here at Direct Choice, Inc. and our partners at Highmark who overcame the challenges of the ever-changing health insurance landscape to build a highly successful multi-touch campaign. “We had a shortened enrollment window and significant changes in health plan offerings,” says Rob Crossley, Direct Choice Inc.’s Senior Account Manager for this project. “Fortunately, we formed a solid strategy and a compelling creative approach for capturing re-enrollment early on.” The IMCA Showcase Awards recognize the most effective and innovative work from the best minds in insurance marketing and communications. 2018 is the 60th year the awards have been recognizing outstanding marketing and communications work in the...

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Spotlight on Patricia Uhrich, Marketing Manager

How long have you been with DCI? Patti: I've been with DCI for almost 2 years. Prior to this, all of my experience has been on the client side. It seems most people tend to move in the other direction (agency to client side). What attracted you to the agency life? Patti: I like the fact that I have opportunities to work with clients from a cross-section of industries with a variety of goals and campaigns. I also enjoy DCI because I’m able to work with a more tight-knit group in a less corporate environment. It’s challenging yet more enjoyable and relaxed at the same time. As trendy and current as you have to be in the marketing world, I hear that you enjoy kicking back with a classic movie when you’re at home, right? Patti: Within the past few years, I've become a Turner Classic Movies nerd. I probably watch at least 2 old...

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Spotlight on Kathleen Halligan

You’ve been in the print and direct mail business for over 30 years. What surprises you most about how your career has changed or hasn’t changed? Kathleen: Technology. When I was in print sales I had to purchase cars large enough to fit full spread mechanicals into the trunk. Now, I can put 25 jobs in my handbag. What hasn’t changed is the importance of relationships. My greatest career accomplishment is the deep and long-standing relationships developed with clients and vendors. What aspect of your job at DCI would your colleagues find surprising? Kathleen: We are only as strong as our weakest link. That could be as simple as the pressman that’s distracted the day he runs your job. We live in the weeds and are responsible for many details. Every single bit of production minutiae is important to us. I suppose that can become pretty nerve-racking. Does it keep you up at night? Kathleen: Rarely....

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The Best of Eagles Victory Week … and why we loved Dundee

Like our fellow members of the Eagles Nation, we are still glowing green over here at DCI. It was seriously difficult to focus on anything else with fighter jets buzzing your office and team members tweeting pics from the parade. So, before we get into an overdue commentary on the Super Bowl ads, here are our favs from the Eagles mania of last week: BEST HEADLINE: PHINALLY!Newsday Sport BEST SLOGAN:From Wentz we came. In Foles we trust. BEST CELEBRITY TWEET ABOUT VICTORY:Hard to explain if you’re not from Philly. The joy. The joy. THE JOY. #FlyEaglesFlyRob McElhenney BEST COMMENT ON OVERLY-HYPED MAYHEM: The knucklehead contingent was extremely small. ~ Mayor Jim Kenney BEST VICTORY SPEECH: Jason Kelce Now, about those Super Bowl ads… Our top pick goes to Tourism Australia’s Crocodile Dundee remake. Between the online release of a movie trailer and the subsequent Super Bowl ad, pretty much everyone was thinking, “Is this for real?” Objective achieved! ISpot.tv found that...

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