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Boston Voyager Feature

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B Direct and the Queen B were just featured in Boston Voyager. In case you missed it, here's the interview ...

Meet Alexandra MacAaron of B Direct Marketing Communications

Today we'd like to introduce you to Alexandra MacAaron.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don't you give us some details about you and your story.
Fifteen years ago, after I'd already had a long career in Boston advertising agencies, the firm I was working for was "consolidated" with a sister company in Atlanta, GA. Although I was given the option to relocate (or commute, week by week), it just didn't make sense for me. Together with two long-time colleagues, I launched Plan B Marketing Communications. The name of the agency was a bit of an inside joke (it was our Plan B, after all), but seemed to resonate with clients as well. Over the years, we went from being a small alternative to agency of record for several clients. So, we changed our name to B Direct Marketing Communications.

Starting the agency was a 24/7 focus for awhile. But, in the long run, it meant a lot of flexibility. I had more time with my daughter; I published two books The New Marketing Conversation and Lovin' the Alien; and I now have a regular column in the online magazine Women's Voices for Change, reviewing movies and TV from a feminist perspective. Most recently, I was named a "Top Critic" by Rotten Tomatoes. None of this could have happened if I was still commuting in and out of Boston.

We're always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we've spoken with enough people to know that it's not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Starting a business is always a challenge. We were copywriters, creative directors and art directors in our past lives. Suddenly, we had to learn how to drive new business, service clients, manage accounts payable and (happily) receivable.

We had always worked IN the business. Suddenly, we were working ON the business.

However, establishing and growing Plan B (and eventually B Direct) gave us such freedom and joy. We could finally work for exactly the kind of ad agency we had always dreamed of. Because we were creating it ourselves!

Despite the challenges, B Direct Marketing Communications and its associates are fortunate to be in a position to achieve business success through creative endeavors. We genuinely appreciate this and strive to make every project and every client relationship interesting, educational, and joyful.

We'd love to hear more about your business.
B Direct is made up of three full-time partners and we work with about a dozen super-talented freelancers. We're small, nimble, and considerably less expensive than the major Boston-area agencies.

Our clients include organizations as large as IBM, Bank of America, and the Boston Globe, as well as colleges and universities, Internet start-ups, retailers, and not-for-profits. But no matter who we work with or what advertising medium we work in, our single focus is always … results.

Here's what we tell prospective clients:

"If you're looking for out-of-the-ordinary creative thinking … for integrated direct marketing solutions that resonate with your audience … for big-agency results at a fraction of the cost … it's time to B Direct."

At B Direct, we focus on direct marketing across all media. Everything we do for our clients, from ads to direct mail, email, websites, tradeshow design and more, is designed to make someone take action. But, we're media-neutral, working seamlessly across on-line and off-line to reach prospects and customers efficiently and effectively. Our team has won dozens of industry awards. Our creative solutions stand out in a crowded marketplace … and generate record-breaking results.

Since 2003, B Direct has developed hundreds of hard-hitting campaigns. And we're just getting started.

What were you like growing up?
I was definitely a mix of right-brain and left-brain. I considered myself a creative person, thriving in theatre productions and working on my first novel in fourth grade (really). But, my math and science scores were always much higher than my language arts scores.

Advertising, and specifically direct marketing, turned out to be an ideal profession for someone like me.

It's a combination of innovation and creative thinking PLUS strategy and analytics. Every single day, my colleagues and I use both sides of our brains on behalf of our clients. (And we have a wonderful time doing it.)

Pricing:

All pricing is per project, based on an approved estimate (we don't believe in surprises where our clients' budgets are concerned).
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For creative marketing that really works, it’s time for B Direct.

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