Magazine Store

50 Smartest Companies of the Year 2022

An expert at making marketing and communication workflows work better to keep enterprises ahead of the curve: Data Communications Management


In the highly competitive world we live in, businesses make use of marketing to outrun the competition and stay ahead of the curve. Marketing delivers information to customers and keeps them well informed about your products. Globally, there are various marketing firms delivering excellent marketing services, but Data Communications Management (DCM) stands out from the rest. As tech practitioners with 40 years of experience managing clients’ digital assets, DCM helps companies simplify complex communications and operations through four key offerings:

  • DCMFlex™: a marketing automation platform.
  • ASMBL: a digital asset management solution.
  • Communications and print management: This includes commercial print and one of North America’s largest digital print fleets.
  • Marketing, strategy, and creative services: end-to-end marketing research, strategy, creative development, and execution.

DCM has a deep understanding of digital transformation and workflow automation, and whatever the solution, the company works closely with clients to ensure successful implementation every step of the way.

In conversation with Richard Kellam, President and CEO of DCM

Q. What was the motivation behind starting DCM?

DCM’s roots go back more than 60 years to the company’s beginnings as Canada’s leading provider of communications and marketing services. Building on that heritage, DCM has evolved into a North American, digital-first company that is transforming our clients’ communications. We work with some of the biggest brands in sectors such as financial services, retail, healthcare, energy, and emerging markets.

Q. Tell us about your content development. What factors do you feel drive engagement?

Our goal with all communication is to be simple and straightforward. We believe our clients have enough complexity in their lives; we don’t want to add to it. We also strive to educate and inform clients: We’re here to help them make sense of complicated technology and processes. Ultimately we want anyone engaging with our content to see a return on that engagement.

Q. What is the main purpose of a data-driven marketing approach? How does it help organizations improve their marketing?

All good marketing is grounded in strategy, and strategy is based on data. Data tells you who the marketing is intended to reach, what message will resonate with them, what behavioral factors motivate them, and which communication channel they prefer. It enables you to personalize your message and track their response. It allows you to measure overall success, so you can do better next time. In short, a marketing campaign created without the benefit of data is a waste of time and investment.

Q. Business owners trying to compete in this highly competitive market usually find themselves facing a dilemma with their marketing campaigns. How do you help business owners find the right marketing tools for their needs?

Every business relationship begins with discovery, where we sit with the client, listen to them, and from those learnings, we pinpoint their challenges. From those challenges, we determine the best tools for their needs. Perhaps they have different lines of business that require customized messaging, yet they need to centralize brand control. In such a case, we would explore using our DCMFlex tool. Or maybe their marketing resources are fragmented (working remotely; or supported by contractors), and there’s a need for tighter collaboration and governance, in which case they’d want to consider our ASMBL digital asset management platform. Or they have many physical locations with complex in-store signage, which would require the expertise of our Print and Communications Management team. Or perhaps the client is struggling to differentiate their brand in the marketplace and is rethinking their entire identity—for which we’d recommend consulting with our Marketing, Strategy, and Creative Group. For each of these scenarios, we would customize our approach and solution.

Q. How do you source the right talent and expertise to maintain the quality of your services?

We focus on our people. That means treating our associates fairly and respectfully, and investing in their development, both personal and professional. We strive to give them opportunities to grow and advance within DCM, and we work to make DCM the kind of place where they want to stay and build their career. We use tools such as a bi-annual associate survey, which is conducted by an external provider to ensure anonymity and honest feedback. We offer a share-purchase program, enabling associates to truly take ownership of their work. We also offer a referral program, because we know that successful associates tend to recommend the best candidates. We actively promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), in part through a formal DEI Committee—we work to make DCM a place that embraces different backgrounds and is stronger because of different perspectives. We offer work-life balance through hybrid working where possible. We generally try to maintain a workplace that we ourselves are proud to be part of. We believe all these efforts together make our company a great place to work.

Q. How do you market your services?

We market our solutions through a range of channels and media. LinkedIn is our go-to for posting news on business wins, partnerships, industry events, earnings announcements, and other information we want to share with customers, investors, and followers. We’re also on Instagram, and we produce numerous videos that we post on our YouTube channel. We partner with media outlets to produce sponsored content targeting our key sectors, and we take part frequently in industry and investor events. We’re also covered regularly by investor analysts.

Q. Do you plan to launch any new services?

We are continually exploring opportunities to expand our offering in ways that will help our clients further simplify their communications and operations. We’re currently focused on our DCMFlex and ASMBL platforms, but with martech growing at a rate of almost 25% per year, we know there’s tremendous potential in the kind of solutions we offer.

Q. What does the future hold for your company and customers?

This is a very exciting time to be in the marketing and communications industry. The growth and innovation are exponential. One in five martech solutions available to us now was not here a year ago. The precision and targeting of these solutions—to specific industries, specific needs—are unprecedented. At the same time, the vast variety and choice make this landscape so much more complex. This is why our ability to simplify that landscape—to integrate into and unify our clients’ tech stacks—is so valuable and timely. So it’s an even more exciting time for DCM as a company.

Meet the leader behind DCM’s success

President and CEO Richard Kellam brings to DCM more than 35 years of experience in general management, customer development, and marketing communications. His career includes senior roles with some of the world’s biggest brands, from Robin Hood Multifoods and Mars Inc. to Goodyear. He leads by example, sharing a genuine passion for marketing and technology that’s evident in every task he takes on.

“For large organizations with complex marketing and communication needs, DCM’s targeted technology solutions simplify processes and centralize information to improve efficiency, guarantee compliance, and ultimately increase profit.”