Mal Dunn Nears Launch of BTB, Publisher Databases

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Mal Dunn Associates Inc. hopes to redefine itself as a provider of database marketing services, reflecting the whims of a shifting market.

The company is developing products using database techniques courtesy of long relationships with list owners, along with building modeling and analytics capabilities. It also is gradually expanding its relationship with clients to serve more as an agency.

"Traditional management and brokerage is facing smaller mail volumes from traditional mailers, lower commissions and deeper net name orders," said Stephen Dunn, president of Mal Dunn, Brewster, NY. "An ever-decreasing universe is not a good thing to build a business on. These databases enhance Mal Dunn's brokerage and management services."

Mal Dunn began developing major databases as early as 1980, Mr. Dunn said. The company has five major databases and six models. Of those databases, three are recent to the market or set to launch soon.

The first, called Contacts in American Business, is in the process of being launched. This database aims to fill the same need in the business-to-business market that Mal Dunn's 2-year-old Consumer Passion Index does for the consumer end.

Instead of identifying the lifestyle from transactions, as is done for the Consumer Passion Index, Mal Dunn located individual names by title and function. The resulting file of names contracted from various companies has 95 million individuals at their workplace by title and function.

"In the business marketing community, it's more important to know what kind of company he's working for and what his job is," Mr. Dunn said. "You can't sell software to an office manager in a large company, but you can in a small company. The idea is to reach the right desk in the right industries."

This database is ideal for marketers in IT, sales and marketing, finance and human resources.

In development for a summer launch is PubCoBase, a co-operative database for magazine, book and newsletter marketers. It includes information key to publishers of paid publications: type of agent, type of direct publisher, source/RFM, number of renewals and promotional history.

PubCoBase targets small and midsize publishers who lack the marketing advantages of database-rich publishers like Time Inc., Meredith Corp., Hearst Corp. or CondŽ Nast Publications. It also works for large publishers to supplement their own files.

The third recent Mal Dunn database, the Consumer Passion Index, gathers information from transactions and purchases, unlike other databases that rely on surveys.

For this database, Mal Dunn went across many industries to find transactions that translated into lifestyle affinities. The index has 1.8 billion transactions on file, divided into more than 130 lifestyle categories.

The Consumer Passion Index has turned into a seven-figure income source since its launch, Mr. Dunn claims. One hundred and fifty mailers in categories like credit cards, financial investments, insurance, travel and sports use it. It also works for vertical mailers and publishers.

"All of it is indexed based on source and RFM [recency, frequency and monetary value] as to the strongest passion to the weakest passion in the given lifestyle," Mr. Dunn said.

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