List Industry Goes Fast Forward Into Multichannel Landscape

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Fast Forward 2006, a daylong event ahead of the Direct Marketing Association's List Vision conference, takes place Aug. 15 at the Marriott Marquis in New York to help senior direct marketers deal with major issues facing the industry in a multichannel world.

Steve Forbes, president/CEO of Forbes Inc. and editor in chief of Forbes magazine, will give the keynote. List industry luminaries also will address the gathering of list executives.

"One of the industry's major concerns is how to meet the growing challenges of our clients in a multichannel environment," said Andy Ostroy, chairman/CEO of Belardi/Ostroy ALC, New York, "how to create an effective strategy across channels, with a focus on marketing investment and growth.

"At the same time, the industry is faced with declining response rates, circulation cutbacks and house file attrition, which have made it tougher to grow sales and increase profitability," he said.

Fast Forward 2006 will address the needs, challenges and opportunities of the rapidly changing business environment of lists and customer data exchange, the DMA said.

Panelists and speakers include John Kilcullen, president and publisher of Billboard Information Group and founder of the "For Dummies" book series; John Basile, vice president of human resources at Fidelity Investments; and Alan Momeyer, vice president of human resources at Loews Corp.

Also addressing the audience is Mark Friedman, chief digital marketing officer of Warnaco, along with Mark Stevens, marketing strategy and communications consultant and author of "Your Marketing Sucks" and "Extreme Management."

"Fast Forward brings the best minds and speakers in all industries to present to the best minds in the narrow list discipline," said David O. Schwartz, president of 21st Century Marketing, Farmingdale, NY. "Someone is going to learn something that will make a competitive difference."

The day after Fast Forward, the DMA will hold its annual List Vision show. The event lets list industry professionals gather without clients in order to swap ideas, concerns and best practices. Some issues tossed around last year were industry threats, solutions and prognostications. This year's Fast Forward and List Vision may raise some of the same concerns.

"We advise our user clients to be sure to investigate the use of prospecting databases," said Dave Florence, chairman of Direct Media Inc., Greenwich, CT. "There are numerous varieties of these databases, and mailers should explore more than one. In addition, we advise our mailer clients to look deeper into multichannel marketing online, package inserts, et cetera."

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