Vendors Pleased With Having Just One NCDM

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ORLANDO--Most vendors at the NCDM Winter 2005 Conference were pleased with the Direct Marketing Association's decision to do away with its summer show in favor of holding just one a year.

"I think it was great idea," said John Harrison, executive director, partner, investment banking group at Keystone Equities Group, Oakes, PA. "A second show was not needed."

The NCDM conference has been held twice annually for many years, but the marketplace dictated that one show was enough, according to the DMA.

Kurtis Ruf, a partner at Ruf Strategic Solutions, Olathe, KS, also liked the change.

"Two shows are not needed," Ruf said. "I never got ROI when we exhibited at the summer NCDM, although I have at winter NCDM."

In general, Harrison said the NCDM show is finally positioned correctly: very targeted and focused.

"In the 1990s, the show lost its focus," he said. "Back then, there were telemarketing firms and list firms exhibiting, as opposed to pure database marketing firms. Then, in 2000, the Internet exploded, and the show lost focus again, with tons of dot-com firms exhibiting. Now it's back where it belongs, with true database marketing firms and firms offering analytics."

Though the show just started, Harrison said he is already seeing a lot of traffic at his booth and much interest from attendees.

"Database marketing M&A activity is really heating up," he said. "There are billions of dollars in capital out there [ready to be invested in] this space. People are always going to need solutions that enable them to update their databases to maximize the lifetime value of their customers and find the most profitable customers."

Meanwhile, James Koenig, co-leader, privacy practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Philadelphia, offered an overview of privacy issues that database marketers should be aware of in his keynote speech yesterday. Most importantly, privacy issues are still on consumers' minds. For example, he quoted one statistic that found that 75 percent of consumers think they have lost all control of all of their personal information handled by companies.

Another statistic he mentioned from a privacy survey was that 83 percent of consumers would stop doing business with a company if it was using information improperly. Privacy issues also are on the minds of lawmakers, he said, and the laws are not just affecting consumer information.

"Many of the new laws impact business-to-business as well," he said.

What does this all mean? According to Koenig, it shows that "maintaining trust is a critical success factor and key competitive advantage in building loyalty and in supporting future business models using customer and prospect data."

Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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