Good News! Database Companies Are Hiring

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CHICAGO -- If you're wondering where the growth is in database marketing, just head to the store or take a vacation.


"While financial services and telcos are strong, we are seeing great growth from nontraditional verticals such as hotels and retail," John Young, vice president and managing director of analytic consulting at Epsilon, Wakefield, MA, said at this week's summer 2005 National Center for Database Marketing Conference.


One reason for this growth, Young said, is that companies and CFOs demand more accountability from marketing programs. He also has seen a lot of growth in analytic applications at Epsilon.


"Companies are looking for actionable information for more effective targeting, which analytic applications offer," he said, adding that many of his clients are ramping up their in-house analytics groups because they understand how analytics is "a critical process for them."


There's also good news on the hiring front. Linda Burtch, general manager at Smith Hanley Associates, Chicago, which places quantitative marketing professionals, said she has seen more need for statisticians, database marketers and analysts at both vendor and client companies. Many candidates are getting multiple offers, counter offers, "and the signing bonus is even back," she said. "Next year, we are on track to be back where we were in 1999."


The complexities of database marketing and the large amount of data that companies now store are reasons for that growth. Someone has to know what to do with it.


"Companies need people who can make business inferences from all of this data," Burtch said.


Search engine marketing, e-mail and Internet advertising are increasingly important in the marketing spend, Young said, though more work needs to be done in integrating this type of data with more traditional data.


"We are still seeing the silo effect," he said.


Arthur Middleton Hughes, vice president/solutions architect at KnowledgeBase Marketing, Richardson, TX, said he is noticing an increase in prospecting databases.


"We are seeing a lot of RFPs for prospecting databases," Hughes said. KnowledgeBase set up a prospect database for Mutual of Omaha, which saved more than $1 million in one year from reduced package costs, lower list costs and other improvements, he said.


One trend Hughes wants to see more of is companies examining their vendor relationships every three years.


"Companies tend to get linked to a single application or a single vendor, and they use them over and over again for many years," he said. "It's often very difficult to sell the idea of a new vendor to upper management."


Companies should mandate that their vendors are reviewed every three years, Hughes said.


"They may find they are missing out on a lot," he said.


Hughes also said the Internet is becoming the domain of the marketing department as opposed to the IT department in larger companies.


"Companies are realizing that the Web creates sales and, therefore, that it should be part of the marketing department," he said. "However, making the switch is difficult -- the IT department doesn't want to give it up."


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


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