Centrobe, Abacus Plug Lower-Cost Database Access for Publishers

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Customer management firm Centrobe, Boulder, CO, has joined forces with Abacus Direct, Westminster, CO, which helps direct mail sellers target customers. Under the agreement announced this week, Centrobe's publishing clients will be offered lower-cost access to Abacus' cooperative database.


Abacus' database, called the Abacus Alliance, offers publishers data enhancement, marketing research, prospecting, optimization and modeling based on information from 88 million households.


No prices were offered for the service.


According to Centrobe, the alliance will benefit its publishing customers -- which use Centrobe for its fulfillment services such as subscription processing and telemarketing services -- by helping to reducing the cost of acquisition, retention and reactivation programs.


Nicholas J. Cuccarro, president of publications and associations at Centrobe, said the alliance will help publishers who are experiencing an erosion of subscriber acquisition because of the negative publicity surrounding the sweepstakes issue.


"Since Abacus brings a real expertise in terms of scoring databases and modeling, our customers will be able to make a better selection [of names] and get a better response rate," he said.


The alliance will bring a better quality of targets to Centrobe's customers as well,


according to Sam Cardonsky, vice president, publishing services, Abacus Direct.


"There are some publishers now that are interested in high-quality subscribers, ones that will be more loyal, that will renew year after a year and who will purchase more products in the magazine," said Cardonsky. "We believe that the transactional information contained in the Abacus database will predict who a higher-quality subscriber really is," which should ultimately reduce shipping costs.


Already signed on to the program is PC World, published by PC World Communications, San Francisco.


This agreement comes on the heels of a deal formed last month between Abacus and Acxiom Corp., Conway, AR, that will replace Acxiom's SmartBase co-op database with the Abacus Alliance. Abacus is betting both deals will lead to an increase in participation in the Abacus Alliance co-op.
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