*Start-Up Alistia Launches Online List Tool
"One of the basic premises that we created the system around was that the list industry has been built and it has been working for many years, but there are certain conditions that are allowing and driving the need for change," said Janet Rubio, CEO of Alistia Inc., Austin, TX.
With the help of an advisory board of direct marketing professionals -- including David O. Schwartz, president of 21st Century Marketing and David Shepard, president of David Shepard Associates Inc. -- Alistia developed a tool to be accessed online by list brokers and list managers that can take them through all phases of the list process currently performed offline, Rubio said.
"I'm on the advisory board to be able to provide the type of input to Alistia that will ensure that their program works within the confines and nature of the existing business -- that it doesn't take away from what brokers and managers bring to the business but that it is an effort to enhance it," said Schwartz, who is also chairman of the DMA's List Leaders.
Beginning with preliminary list research and count capabilities, Rubio said the product allows users to place orders, obtain approvals, negotiate price breaks, track orders, generate reports, dedupe lists and ship orders.
Despite the ability to do everything online, Rubio stressed that she does not expect Alistia to eliminate telephone communication between managers and brokers. She added that users are able to communicate electronically through the system.
The ability to access list data around the clock and perform related tasks online is designed to make list brokers' and managers' jobs easier, she said.
"We've had a lot of input along the way to account for all of those exceptional things that happen -- all those little gotchas -- and everybody's got one," Rubio said.
"I've seen a lot of outside companies who think they know the list business come in with products or services which were not supportive of the business and often failed because they didn't understand the nuances and very unique nature of the direct marketing community, Schwartz said.
In addition to 21st Century Marketing, Farmingdale, NY, the firms American List Counsel, Princeton, NJ, and List Technology Systems, New York, have signed on with Alistia to place some of their managed files on the system.
Although Rubio could not be specific at about the list titles, she said they are traditional response lists and compiled files. She expects the number of participants to grow rapidly.
The Alistia Web-based tool is available to list companies on a subscription basis. Companywide access is priced at $2,500 per quarter. There is an additional $250-per-quarter client fee for each managed property placed on the system.
Demonstrations of the Alistia product are available here at the company's exhibit hall booth.