Acxiom Partners With CDS, ICOM

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Acxiom Corp., Conway, AR, will supply products and services to Communications Data Services, Inc. and ICOM Information and Communications Inc. as part of separate agreements announced this month. The ICOM alliance is an extension of its role as a data provider to Acxiom's InfoBase Enhancement product.

The deal with Communications Data Services (CDS), Des Moines, IA, makes Acxiom the sole supplier of demographic and data enhancements for CDS magazine clients. CDS, a subsidiary of Hearst Corp., is the fulfillment service bureau for over 370 magazines representing 105 million active subscribers.

CDS will use demographic, lifestyle and socioeconomic data for list enhancement, advanced database analysis, advertising splits and any other needs the magazine industry determines, said account director Diane Welcher. The information will also be used by CDS' in-house modeling and statistical services group.

The Acxiom partnership was consummated to service CDS clients that wanted demographics but did not know how to obtain them. Welcher said clients are free to choose their own demographics provider but if they choose CDS as the provider, they will get Acxiom data.

List enhancement by CDS will not override the role of the list manager but in many cases will result from manager recommendations, Welcher said.

"Most of the time list managers don't want to be involved in getting the overlay done, they just want the information there so they can sell it,'' she said. "On certain lists you can't sell that list unless you can prove there is a like interest and demographics help that.''

The alliance with ICOM, Toronto, provides Acxiom with behavioral data from the packaged goods, pharmaceutical, publishing, catalog, and telecommunications industries as well as charitable organizations. In turn, ICOM will use Acxiom's hygiene and integration services and become a reseller of Acxiom data products.

Catherine McIntyre, the list group general manager for ICOM, said those data products will be offered as an additional service to clients that include mailers and list brokers. While the two companies do have some customer overlap, McIntyre said ICOM is "still on the upward slope of customer acquisition'' and will provide good potential clients for Acxiom.

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