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Rider Dickerson evolves from a print service provider to a full-scale marketing service provider, with help from HP


“Our partnership with both
HP and MindFireInc is critical
to our long-term success.”

— Bill Barta
President and CEO
Rider Dickerson

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Rider Dickerson has been a fixture in Chicago's famed Printers Row District since 1903. What started as a small letterpress shop grew steadily over the years. Then, in 2007, Rider Dickerson began a strategic shift to keep up with the changing direct marketing landscape.

Over the last 5 years, the company has rapidly evolved from print service provider (PSP) to full-scale marketing service provider (MSP)—a change largely fueled by Rider Dickerson's use of HP Indigo digital printing and the integrated marketing technology of MindFireInc.

“Our partnership with both HP and MindFireInc is critical to our long-term success,” says Bill Barta, president and CEO of Rider Dickerson. “It's allowed us to get an audience with prospective clients and really show them what we can do.”

Quick facts

  • Rider Dickerson evolved into a full-scale marketing service provider with the help of the HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press and MindFireInc.
  • HP Indigo and MindFireInc technology nearly doubled the response rate for Robert Morris University's recruitment campaign.
  • The combination of HP Indigo and MindFireInc technology helped Rider Dickerson lower one university's campaign costs by 56%.

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A revolutionary partnership

With the help of HP and MindFireInc, Rider Dickerson has converted the science of direct marketing from an unpredictable one-size-fits-all-mailboxes approach into a quantifiable, personalized art form.

Rider Dickerson adopted the HP Indigo press 3050 in 2007 and recently upgraded to the HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press.

Although initially attracted by the HP Indigo 7500's ability to print larger sheets, on more substrates, and with complex variable data, Rider Dickerson found that the press's speed and high-volume productivity made the biggest impression.

“We knew it would allow us to open up new markets,” Barta says.

Bill Barta

“Our focus was growing sales,
but we also anticipate cost savings
because it's a much faster press.”

With HP Indigo in its arsenal, Rider Dickerson focused on expanding its integrated marketing capabilities. By partnering with MindFireInc, the company can incorporate new features, including personal URLs (PURLs), QR codes, targeted emails, and text messaging.

“We wanted to be able to offer more value to our clients," Barta says. "We knew this technology was going to do that.”

Rider Dickerson also takes advantage of MindFireInc's FastLaunch program, which provides comprehensive training, sales, and go-to-market business development tools as well as technical and sales support for all areas of cross-media marketing implementation.

Higher education

Rider Dickerson put its expanded capabilities into action when handling the annual student recruitment campaign for Robert Morris University (RMU), a huge Chicago-based university.

“In the past, we mailed a traditional packet that included a letter and a business reply card," says Connie Esparza, RMU's vice president for marketing. "Then we just waited for a response.”

Rider Dickerson had a more proactive vision, initiating a massive, multifaceted campaign that capitalized on the speed, productivity, and variable data capabilities of HP Indigo technology with the intuitive integrated marketing capabilities of MindFireInc.

The campaign included 385,000 personalized direct-mail letters and postcards, interactive PURLs, social media links, and targeted emails. Despite the volume, every component was personalized for potential recruits. Esparza says:

“We wanted the campaign to
speak to each prospect intimately.”

Using MindFireInc's real-time analytics, she then tracked, measured, and reviewed the data. The results were staggering.

Direct mail, direct results

The campaign nearly doubled the university's response rate and improved its prospects-to-inquiries conversion by 79% in the first full year. That number increased by 30% with the latest campaign, along with a 58% increase in lead purchase, a 56% decrease in costs, and a 6.1% increase in overall student enrollment.

Rider Dickerson plans to continue building on that success, using its HP Indigo and MindFireInc solutions as a foundation.

“The investments we've made in technology and our own marketing over the last couple of years have poised us for a lot of growth,” says Dean Petrulakis, Rider Dickerson's senior vice president of business development. “The sky's the limit right now.”