The Expected and the Unexpected

Some of the newer services offered by list firms make sense in the context of the companies’ original missions. Indeed, it’s not much of a stretch for a company that provides suggestions about prospecting lists to offer database analysis and modeling. Pearl River, NY-based Walter Karl, for instance, has at its disposal a modeling and analytical team of 20 analysts through its parent company, Woodcliff Lake, NJ-based Donnelley Marketing. “We can offer a turnkey solution,” says Walter Karl president Ed Mallin.

But what about advice on mergers and acquisitions? “It’s not uncommon for the senior leadership of a client organization to ask me for advice with respect to corporate development, be that merger, acquisition, or divestiture related,” says Geoff Batrouney, executive vice president of New Rochelle, NY-based Estee Marketing Group. Batrouney estimates that he spends about one quarter of his time evaluating house files for his clients. “If you can provide a valuation on a catalog buyer file, you can enable the company to capitalize its value, secure financing, and put its business on a more regular footing,” he explains.

In addition to offering circulation planning and M&A advice, Ridgefield, CT-based D-J Associates has on staff a fulfillment expert who works with catalog clients to assess their back-end needs and evaluate problem areas. Why? “Everything is connected, and the customer service level has to be impeccable,” says president Kathy Duggan-Josephs. “If fulfillment isn’t taking care of a problem, it has to be addressed. We need to know that all customers are happy, or they’re not going to respond [to offers] the way they should.”

To provide market insight, Peterborough, NH-based 0Millard Group has a full-fledged market research department. “This has become a significant service from the standpoint of revenue impact, market intelligence, client retention, and client acquisition. It gives us an interesting, current view of the marketplace,” says president Ben Perez.

Along similar lines, Greenwich, CT-based Direct Media offers market analysis and data through a product called Catalog Tracker, which tracks promotional activity from approximately 1,600 consumer catalogs. “In working with a catalog on all aspects of its business,” says executive vice president Linda Huntoon, “we can understand and service it better.”
SHDF

QUICK STAT

Consumer catalogers spend a mean $4.09 per prospect; b-to-b catalogers, $7.78.
Source: Catalog Age 2003 Benchmark Report on Marketing

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