ABR 2009: Harte-Hanks Direct

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Gary Skidmore
Gary Skidmore

“The ultimate goal of direct marketing is to enable our customers to truly engage with their customers one at a time. The way that we can do that best is part science, coming from the data and technology that we have that give us insights to help our customers know what they should do to get the best results. Then, there literally is an art to blending the multichannel piece to achieve the maximum results.”
-- Gary Skidmore, president of Harte-Hanks Direct Marketing

Harte-Hanks Direct is one of the biggest US direct marketing agencies and accounts for a significant portion of the overall Harte-Hanks business. The direct portion includes businesses such as data quality solutions provider Trillium Software and market intelligence firm Aberdeen. Data is really what this firm is about. It is a leader in enterprise marketing database solutions and has made headway in the mid-market arena in recent years. With ongoing investment in its digital practice, a key offering is multichannel campaigns for big-name customers in the retail, technology and financial services industries.

Year founded: 1923

Parent company: Harte-Hanks Inc.

Headquarters: San Antonio, TX

Number of offices: 39

Web site: www.harte-hanks.com

Major disciplines/capabilities: Analytics & market research; strategic planning; database build, install and host; data quality and data integration; creative services

Key accounts: JCPenney; Hyundai Motor America; Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield of New Jersey

Current agency challenges:
The impact of the economy, as the agency's customers are faced with having to do more with less.

Biggest 2009 industry trends:
According to Skidmore, there will be more seamless multichannel programs; the spend on digital, while not as fast as in the past, will continue to be faster than other channels; and the importance of insight analytics is more important than ever.  

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