Response Media E-volving

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The growing demands of mailers are spearheading the transformation of list companies from traditional management and brokerage houses into integrated marketing services providers. Response Media Products (RMP) is one of several list companies to introduce an interactive division to complement its other services.

RMP Interactive (RMPI) will offer services that go beyond e-mail marketing to include consulting, execution, tracking and analysis of online advertising campaigns.

"E-mail marketing will be the minor end of it," said Herb Torgersen, vice president of RMP Management, a division of Atlanta-based RMP. "We are going after the big campaigns. We have the ability to put ads on online services which you can demographically target and can help maintain and track information off their Web sites."

RMP recruited an industry expert with a direct marketing background to head up its new division. Jean Burman, former director of business development and marketing for America Online and localized shopping site Digital City, joined RMPI in March. By hiring Burman, RMPI is gearing up to meet clients' increased demand for an interactive presence. Torgersen predicts that mailers eventually will shift as much as 10 percent to 15 percent of their budget to interactive media.

"Mailers are looking at their brokers to be more than order takers," he added. "They want brokers to provide some analytical services and help them to explore other mediums."

RMP responded five years ago by forming a promotional media division to help mailers acquire customers through new channels, such as joint ventures and in-store promotions.

The promotional division has formed alliances between such seemingly disparate clients as a direct mail film processor and a dog-treat manufacturer on the premise that pet owners take a lot of photographs. The film offer was featured on thousands of boxes of dog treats and free-standing inserts, increasing exposure for both clients. RMP also negotiated inserting offers in mail pieces and using mailing lists not on the market through exchange agreements with list owners.

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