List View - Wanted, A Centralized Resource (838 words)
Some might say direct marketing is in a conundrum and that Internet marketing may erode the direct mail industry and the businesses of list brokers and list managers.
There's no denying the Internet has and will continue to have an impact on how the list industry fares in the future. However, for those who've been locked in a negative mindset regarding the challenges presented by the World Wide Web, consider the musings of the esteemed basketball coach Lou Holtz: "How you respond to the challenge in the second half will determine what you become after the game—whether you're a winner or a loser."
If, in fact, the Internet has presented list brokers and managers with a "second-half" challenge, then how about responding with a progressive posture that embraces this powerful tool to our advantage.
Build a Centralized Web Site
It's time for list managers and brokers to capitalize on the Internet not in an independent way, but rather interdependently. Consider the benefits that can be derived by building one centralized Web site, which could serve as a repository for list brokers and managers alike.
List brokers could use the site to search different categories of lists to address their clients' mailing needs. List managers could market and promote their various lists on the site. Brokers could make requests to managers for lists that meet certain requirements. Then, instead of having to go to multiple Web sites to place their orders with different list managers, they can place their orders more efficiently at one centralized, secure location. Electronic data interchange protocols already exist to facilitate this process.
After an order is placed, the broker later could go to the site to check on its status, quantity mailed, date shipped, etc. Using the site, brokers could avoid the tasks of contacting numerous list managers and checking on multiple orders. Instead, they could enter their requests for status on various orders and then download a complete status report.