List View - A New Platform Needed (687 words)
The Web creates the environment where a new platform can be built from which all traditional list services can be rendered and coupled with a full range of new technologies.
We in the list services industry need to recognize that the performance of all of our services must be in collaboration with other service providers and that the needs of customers are paramount. I do not propose fundamental change to the customer acquisition and list marketing process, only that we re-engineer it to remove inefficiency. We don't need to create a paperless industry; we simply need to eliminate paper waste and the numerous delays inherent in the current process.
Several years ago an initiative was launched to create a common standard for business transactions in the list industry. The proposal called for the establishment of common formats and an electronic communications channel that would link all list companies. This idea, although well-intentioned, never got off the ground because it was, in my view, contrary to the competitive interests of the major list companies. The walls that exist today require a great deal of human effort to carry out the routine business transactions between list services providers. The Web can enable the list industry to tear down the walls that prevent the seamless flow of information and transaction with our customers. The high degree of professionalism in the list services industry is a valuable asset to customers only if the natural competitiveness between brokers and managers is transparent.
Direct marketing professionals have access to a wide range of resources through the Web. Establishing a direct transaction-processing channel that enables full collaboration of all parties to the process is essential. Additionally, the Web provides a limitless opportunity to provide access to the most knowledgeable of the vested partners in the list acquisition and the list marketing process: the customer.