American Skiing Picks PreVision for Customer Database

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American Skiing Co. named PreVision Marketing LLC, Lincoln, MA, to handle marketing programs integrating direct mail and e-mail deployment for seven resorts it operates nationwide.

Fifteen CRM and database firms pitched for the $2 million, two-year American Skiing contract. The three other finalists were Harte-Hanks in partnership with E.piphany Inc., BeNow Inc. with Unica Corp., and Epsilon. Acxiom previously handled direct mail for American Skiing, Park City, UT. Fair, Isaac was the e-mail vendor.

"The first mandate is they'd like an integrated system, and the second part is that they'd like direct access to their customer data," said Alan Levin, vice president of technology and analytics at PreVision.

At launch in January, the PreVisionWare Suite will offer online access and database hosting for e-mail and direct mail campaign creation and management, ad hoc query and reporting, customer segmentation, digital asset management, geo-mapping, and e-mail composition and deployment.

Under the old order, American Skiing would go through Acxiom as its intermediary for lists and catalog mailings to customers. There was little synergy with the e-mail outreach, which was Fair, Isaac's bailiwick. Xchange applications and Business Objects' query and reporting tools were used for e-mails.

The review for a new marketing vendor lasted a year.

"We had to present to all the resorts," said Deirdre Girard, principal of PreVision. "They had representatives from each of their resorts having to talk to the potential vendors."

The seven resorts are Sunday River and Sugarloaf/USA in Maine; Steamboat in Colorado; Mount Snow and Killington in Vermont; Attitash Bear Peak in New Hampshire; and The Canyons in Utah.

PreVision, a 9-year-old firm bought in 2000 by Valassis Communications, has mostly retail clients including Talbots, Stride Rite Corp., Stop & Shop and Toys 'R' Us. But it also serves firms in fashion, technology, financial services, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and online services.

Levin said PreVision's retail experience gave it an edge over rivals. Besides resorts, American Skiing also sells time shares and has stores for golf and ski equipment. So the assignment may not end with PreVision software to manage American Skiing's customer database.

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