Infinity Direct Celebrates 20 Years
Infinity Direct started with a lunchtime conversation in a Subway sandwich shop. That’s when Tom Harding – an ambitious young sales representative for a major printing company – struck up a conversation with a sales rep in the pharmaceutical industry. At the time, Harding was becoming increasingly frustrated by the production delays his clients were experiencing. He prided himself on providing top-notch customer service and was upset that the company he worked for couldn’t meet his clients’ expectations – through no fault of his own. He learned that the pharmaceutical sales rep was effectively serving nine different companies, yet Harding was having trouble meeting customer expectations while working for just one employer. That’s when inspiration struck: There had to be a better way to do business in the print industry.
That same afternoon, Harding walked into his boss’s office and explained his plan: He would launch a print agency that would provide great deals and above and beyond customer service by negotiating rates with a number of high-quality print vendors. His boss thought the plan was crazy – after all, Harding was the one of the company’s top-earning sales representatives with a young family to support. But Harding was committed; he was eager to be his own boss and control his own destiny.
Harding launched Infinity Direct in 1991, setting up shop in the basement of his Minneapolis home. Four pipes topped by a piece of plywood served as his desk; the furnace was located directly behind him and the family’s washer and dryer shared his office space. The digs weren’t fancy and neither was his business philosophy: take care of the customer.
Before long, Infinity Direct’s client-centric philosophy began to pay off. Acting as a print broker, Harding began to land clients who were impressed with the personal service they received in addition to the company’s extremely competitive rates. With business expanding, Harding convinced his childhood friend David Greenblat – who was working at the prestigious Calhoun Beach Club – to serve as the company’s president. In 1993, Greenblat took a leap of faith (and an extremely large pay cut) to join Harding as they together pursued their dream of a customer-focused direct marketing agency. Then in 1996, Tom persuaded his brother Shawn to leave his position as director of direct marketing for a major national bank and eventually become the Executive Vice President of Infinity Direct.
Over time, Infinity Direct began adding services and staff to meet customer needs. The company’s founders hired experienced, seasoned professionals who shared their intense dedication to client service in the areas of direct marketing, design, creative strategy, account management and more. Those employees enabled Infinity Direct to grow into what it is today – a full-service direct marketing firm providing multichannel marketing strategy, creative design and production, data mining and customer segmentation, digital and e-marketing, direct mail and marketing resource management.
Nowadays, Infinity Direct’s full-time staff of 35 dishes out outstanding customer service to more than 800 clients within 100 different companies. Its client roster includes many of the same customers who partnered with the agency when it first began. Current customers include The Sports Authority, Ecolab, Medtronic, The Star Tribune, numerous non-profits and several national banks. Infinity Direct has been recognized with dozens of awards for its creative and direct marketing work, including several ARC awards and an exceptional service award from the Midwest Direct Marketing Association, and an Echo Award from the Direct Marketing Association.
In 2011, Infinity Direct celebrates its 20-year anniversary. For more information, visit www.infinitydirect.com/id20.