Vermont Teddy Bear invests in relational database

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In order to handle greater volume and inform its other marketing efforts, Vermont Teddy Bear recently extended its relationship with database services provider I-Centrix for its June catalog push, a drop that will be sent to its high-value customers. The gift and toy cataloger, which has had a long-standing relationship with I-Centrix, recently upgraded its information from a flat file to a relational database to better serve its growing stable of brands. Vermont Teddy Bear has added its other catalogs: Calyx, Corolla and PajamaGram, to its roster since originally signing with I-Centrix and now mails 20 million catalogs a year.

“Calyx and Corolla was always a cataloger, Vermont Teddy Bear never was, and when PajamaGram was introduced it was not really a cataloger but now has become one,” explained Sarah Pribram, director of sales and marketing information for Vermont Teddy Bear Company. “We were only mailing catalogs a few times a year, so we did not need a robust relational database, but now we feel we can get a lot more out of that than with the flat file because we're mailing many more catalogs a year than we used to.”

With the relational database in place, Vermont Teddy Bear will be able to analyze customers by their entire purchase history; with the flat file, the company could only look at first and last purchase. These analyses go into decisions about marketing programs that include catalogs, e-mails, TV, radio and print.

In addition to this business I-Centrix recently signed five other new database clients: Gerber Life Insurance Company, Bassett Furniture, Specialty Catalog Corporation, The Territory Ahead and Vermont Country Store. Gerber Life Insurance is I-Centrix's first foray into the insurance market.

I-Centrix offers clients a data analysis toolkit — the I-ValueT Reporting Suite — that identifies the lifetime value of new customers, profitability by customer segment and other reports. I-Centrix also provides I-DentifyT, a match-back tool that can pair retail sales to particular marketing activity.

The company specializes in retail and catalog work, working with multichannel marketers such as Coldwater Creek, Cornerstone Brands and Orvis.

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