List companies urged to diversify to survive

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Nextmark’s DeMartine (left) and Worldata’s Schwedelson have seen growth through innovation
Nextmark’s DeMartine (left) and Worldata’s Schwedelson have seen growth through innovation

As many industries are evolv­ing to face a new digital age and differing ways people consume information, many so-called list companies also are doing more than simply offering list broker­age services − a move some in the industry say is required for their continued survival.

Last week, Worldata, a Boca Raton, FL-based list management company, launched a new corpo­rate division, Worldata Research, as well as a companion Web site, ListPriceIndex.com, which will be the Web presence for the research division.

Worldata Research will provide free industry research, as well as custom research services for key clientele, according to Worldata president Jay Schwedelson.

Further, Schwedelson said the Web site will have community aspects, and eventually feature Webcasts, videos and other inter­active media, in addition to tools such as daily news, case studies, new techniques and an ROI calculator.

The decision to create this new division and services comes with the recognition of the “evolution of list companies becoming more like data agencies,” Schwedelson said.

“If companies are not transforming their business and doing unique and exciting things, they will not survive,” Schwedelson said. “If you are a list company and that's all that you do, you are in bad shape now. Our clients will view us as a data partner and agency, and that's the model of future.”

Infinite Media, based in White Plains, NY, in conjunction with Nextmark, also announced a new service last week, relaunching its MailingLists.com Web site.

The site features 60,000 mailing lists by type: postal, e-mail, telephone, package insert program, or statement stuffer pro­gram. Plus, users can narrow their search by market: consumer or business.

Lists will always be at the core of a success­ful marketing campaign, but brokers must be able to offer their clients lists in many different kinds of media, including mobile and Websert programs, said Chris DeMar­tine, director of business development for Nextmark, based in Hanover, NH.

“I think there is a lot going on in technol­ogy and analytics and modeling − really in the past two years it's been taking off,” he said. “When you take it down to list level, talking about that, it's really being able to choose data cards for many differ­ent kinds of media. It's important to add value and diversify.”

The most important thing for a list bro­ker hasn't changed: Being able to offer their client the right list in whatever medium that may be, DeMartine said.

List brokers still have a valuable ser­vice to offer even though there may be a diminished focus on them in the industry, he said, citing the Direct Marketing Asso­ciation's elimination of the “list visions” conference as one example.

Like Schwedelson, DeMartine believes list brokers will continue to offer a variety of services.

“List companies have become much more well-versed in providing marketing strategy, rather than just offering list recom­mendations,” he said. “A list broker today has a lot more to know.”

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