Abacus

Wine Connoisseurs 'Nosing' a Choice Market
December 1, 2005

By Kendra Clayton I'm certain you've heard the expression, " ... like a fine wine," referring to something rare and extraordinary. But what, exactly, determines a fine wine? First, there's color and clarity. Second, a fine wine's aroma is scintillating and rich. Third comes the much-anticipated taste. It must be savored for the full body to come forth; a perfect balance of fruit, alcohol and acidity. This process, used to determine a wine's worth, can be broadly applied across the market of its connoisseurs as well. Oenophiles, or wine connoisseurs, are a rare breed, made all the more difficult to hone in on

How Cooperative Are Co-op Databases?
November 1, 2005

By Hallie Mummert Industry experts get into the pros and cons of this prospecting and analytics tool On the surface, participation in a cooperative database sounds like an absolute no-brainer. Merging your customer data with that of other direct marketers to develop more robust models that enable you to prospect more effectively than you could with only your own data to go on—what could be more intuitive? Scratch a little deeper, though, and you begin to realize that this sweet-smelling rose also can have thorns. Depending on how a cooperative database is governed, list managers and list owners cite risks such as unfair

Prospecting Push
May 1, 2005

By Alicia Orr Suman A variety of strategies—including delving deeper into acquisition lists, increasing space advertising and using the Internet—are helping Wolferman's reach its true potential. Wolferman's catalog was a business with far more potential than was being tapped when Williams Foods purchased it from former parent Sara Lee Corp. in 1999. Steve Trollinger, vice president of Shawnee Mission, Kan. consulting firm J. Schmid & Associates, and someone who has worked with this specialty foods catalog firm since 2000, recalls, "Not only did Wolferman's prior management fail to take advantage of opportunities in building the business from a list perspective, they really were

What Do They Buy?
December 1, 2003

Leveraging cooperative databases and the power of transactional data By Steve Tinlin During a presentation I gave at this year's Direct Marketing Association Conference & Exhibition with Sharon Langston of IBM, I had the opportunity to poll a room full of direct marketers about their current business headaches and challenges. An overwhelming theme arose: B-to-B marketers are suffering from a limited source of prospecting names. As many as 80 percent of B-to-B direct marketers don't put their list on the market; response rates are declining; and the state of the economy has been reducing prospect sources and universes. Compounding these challenges is the fact

Getting Sophisticated
December 1, 2003

By Brian Howard For B-to-B marketers, adapting direct marketing principles that work for selling widgets to the world of supplies and solutions is an ongoing process. Because we're all aware of the vast potential that lies in getting it right, new ideas for obtaining a firmer handle on how and why companies buy spring eternal. For instance, the time-honored practice of basing marketing decisions on firmographics can be misleading. As Steve Tinlin, vice president of the Business-to-Business Alliance at Abacus, explains, "industry classifications tell you nothing about the purchasing activity of a prospect." Tinlin suggests marketers use transactional data. "But wait," you

TM0203_Cover/Seven Database Analysis
February 1, 2003

By Lisa Yorgey Lester Analyze this! Your housefile is your greatest asset. This treasure trove of customer data can be analyzed, enhanced and massaged to better help you understand your customers, and in doing so, better target your audience. Here are seven ways three direct marketers are getting more mileage from their prospecting efforts by working their housefiles. #1 Refine your target audience. Rather than mail an entire prospect file, or a portion based on a random selection, Interline Brands, a distributor of maintenance and repair products, looks at where it was successful geographically, and then selects prospect names based on its findings. It

Celebrating 25 Years of Change
May 1, 2002

By Alicia Orr Suman Spring 1978. The first issue of ZIP magazine hit the mail. And on the cover of that predecessor to this magazine were the faces of men and women—"Some Leaders in the Direct Marketing Field," stated the headline. The features listed in the Table of Contents of that premier issue (right) have an eerie resemblance to the subjects we now cover 25 years later: • What Is the Future of the Postal Service? • Personal Privacy in an Information Society • Facsimile Machines, For the Office of the Future • Computer Networks: The New Information Robots • Alternate Delivery: Post-Mortem for

9-11 and Privacy (715 words)
October 1, 2001

Could not a Pearl Harbor-like national emergency cause the federal government to subpoena or impound the major public and private databases including those of Abacus, Acxiom, Experian and the Census Bureau? At that point Washington would know everything about everybody in the country, including the color of our underwear. —Famous Last Words, August, 2001 When John F. Kennedy was shot, many of his Secret Service detail had hangovers, the result of a night of drinking. Not only was it a national tragedy, but a national embarrassment—compounded by the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, who was in protective custody of the Dallas police. To make

Famous Last Words
August 1, 2001

By Denny Hatch The Color of Her Underwear I get the sense that U.S. direct marketers find the European Union's paranoia over privacy and the highly restrictive, bureaucratic rules over what data can and cannot be used for to be a monumental nuisance that gets in the way of doing business. However, the European fear of privacy loss is very real, harking back to Germany in the 1930s and the Nazi persecution of Jews and gypsies. Despite the fact that we saved their bacon in World War II, Europe has every reason to distrust American technology. Edwin Black's new book, "IBM and the

List View-History Lessons (877 words)
June 1, 2001

By Steve Bogner Two sayings keep coming to my mind: "The more things change, the more they stay the same," and "History repeats itself." When looking at the past 26 years that I've been in the list services industry, it seems as if the same concerns keep resurfacing. Postal rates. When I began my career at Walter Karl Inc., the industry was bracing itself for a postal increase. Sound familiar? Back then, the cost of mailing 1,000 Third-class pieces was about to increase to $39/M. The industry has made it through several postal increases and will survive the most recent one, as well. Privacy