DM News' Essential Guide to Lists and Databases: What to Expect From This Guide

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Lists, database marketing and data services don't seem as trendy as, say, search or RSS or wikis or podcasting. But ignore the underpinnings of direct and interactive marketing at your peril.

Why should lists matter? They're the building blocks of addressable, targeted marketing - the future of advertising. They are names and details of people or companies you do business with or want to.

What's the relevance of database marketing? You want to know who's in your file and how best you can personalize and optimize the message or product or service to suit the customer or prospect's need.

And why data services? Just want to make sure you have the right spelling and complete address for easy delivery offline or online.

That's putting it in stark and simple terms. But the subject is more complex. So we thought it was time to ask our longtime columnists to share best practices, case studies and plain old advice. We want readers to benefit from such thought leadership and how-to pieces, whatever their level of familiarity with lists, database marketing and data services. As is our practice, we divided the topics into basic, intermediate and advanced levels to make it an easy read.

I'd like to thank lists editor Kristen Bremner and database marketing editor Melissa Campanelli for their recommendations of topics and candidates. They are as good as any astute analyst or industry observer can get. Content in this guide runs the gamut. On the lists side, we discuss the basics, how to choose a list broker and manager, the merits of buying lists or renting, modeling, private use databases, youth marketing and source media objectivity. There are articles on privacy, agency cooperation with list firms, Hispanic lists and what's happening overseas.

Don't forget to read what Direct Media's Linda Huntoon has to say about the art and science of list negotiations. Also, Adrea Rubin, in her article, asks a question pertinent to the times: Do list brokers need law degrees? I think soon everyone will need a law degree.

On the database side, topics include data quality, audience segmentation, event-triggered marketing, customer loyalty, lead management and customer migration versus retention.

A must-read is a state of database marketing Q&A with Merkle's David Williams. He clearly thinks database marketing is much misunderstood. And taking data privacy seriously is a clarion call for all to hear. That's Acxiom executive Sheila Colclasure's message.

Similarly, do read the case for data hygiene made by Student Marketing Group's Jan Stumacher. Another article, from Arthur Middleton Hughes of KnowledgeBase Marketing, offers valuable tips on building retention and profit through proper customer segmentation. And, of course, I'd absorb comments from Alterian's David Eldridge on how list and data providers can add value to their offerings.

Several case studies in this book bring theory to life. The ones on the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Boston Proper stand out.

That said, all articles in this supplement undoubtedly offer sound advice not found elsewhere except in our online and print publications. So I recommend you flip every page of this guide for all the reasons listed above.

For a PDF of DM News' Essential Guide to Lists, Database Marketing & Data Services, click below:

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