List Vision: The Times They Will Keep Changin'

Share this content:

I often humor our younger staff with tales from the early 1980s, when for my first job in the industry I was given a desk and a telephone and instructed to go conquer the world. This was before the Internet, PCs, the Blackberry, e-mail, voicemail, cell phones, spreadsheets and fax machines.

"How did you ever get anything done?" they ask. The answer is ingenuity, creativity and lots of roadside pay-phone calls. Twenty-five years later, we've been given plenty of technological tools to make us better marketers and salespeople, but the key to survival will remain the same resourcefulness and innovation as well as an ability to adapt as the needs, challenges and goals of our clients adapt. List companies therefore are at a crossroads.

List management and brokerage in 2006 are unrecognizable from what they were 20, 10 or even five years ago. And my guess is that they will change again over the next five, 10 and 20 years. Despite drastic changes in the industry during this period, clients still share the same two goals: to drive file and sales growth. The main difference today is that direct marketers operate in a multichannel environment that requires new disciplines, analytics and overall resources, presenting a host of new corporate challenges and goals. As a matter of survival, list companies must meet these changing priorities and become a partner in this evolution.

What marketers seek from their list partners today is an ability to analyze the business from a holistic standpoint, across channels, to evaluate how best to spend marketing dollars, improve contact strategy, increase the house file and boost sales. These list partners will be involved in both short-term and long-term strategic planning; customer analytics; online marketing; primary customer research and more. The opportunity for traditional list companies is there, and so is the demand from clients.

Meeting this demand may not be easy. It requires a major investment in time, financial resources and staffing. It also requires a complete shift in thinking, and it also may involve corporate repositioning, rebranding and an entirely new outlook on one's approach to the business.

<I>Andy Ostroy is chairman/CEO of Belardi/Ostroy ALC LLC, New York, a list management, list brokerage and multichannel marketing services company.


Next Article in Marketing Strategy

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Brightcove is the world's leading video platform. The most innovative and respected brands confidently rely on Brightcove to solve their most demanding communication challenges because of the unmatched performance and flexibility of our platform, our global scale and reliability, and our award-winning service. With thousands of customers and an industry-leading suite of cloud video products, Brightcove enables customers to drive compelling business results.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above