Mailing list start-up DeepChannel Media will enter the list brokerage and management arena with the launch of its Web site in mid-January.
“DeepChannel Media has been established as a full-service list company with brokers and managers as well as a Web platform to expedite the list process,” said Tim Barlow, president of DeepChannel Media, Beverly, MA.
Barlow claims that the company has established a new business process with its proprietary Web platform.
However, one list professional is skeptical that DeepChannel's Web platform will differentiate it from most established list firms.
“All of the leading list companies are doing a ton of stuff online and using the Internet to support their businesses,” said David O. Schwartz, CEO of 21st Century Marketing, Farmingdale, NY, and AZ Marketing Services Inc., Cos Cob, CT. “If you were to speak to Direct Media, ALC, List Services, The Specialists, ourselves, or other traditional list managers and brokers, we would all tell you that we're Web-based marketing companies.”
As several companies, such as Alistia, created Web-based list research, ordering and fulfillment systems last year, their products were designed to act as tools for list brokers and managers.
However, DeepChannel Media does not plan to market its software to other firms.
“We're completely unlike Alistia or any of the other similar online tools out there,” Barlow said.
The Web platform was developed to put DeepChannel's clients in constant contact with the service providers in the list ordering and processing chain.
“Not only are our clients in touch with the brokers and managers, but they also have full access to their letter shops, fulfillment houses and any other vendors involved in a list campaign,” Barlow said.
The system also gives clients, brokers and managers access to more than 35,000 list sources for research purposes.
However, DeepChannel's online approach may not appeal to all prospective clients or be compatible with all other list companies.
“This is a paper-intensive business,” Schwartz said. “Some parts of that paper can be minimized, but experienced direct marketers should question whether a new system can handle and accommodate all the idiosyncrasies of the list business.”
Barlow said DeepChannel Media CEO Jim Kirschner and a Web development team began building the platform for online list brokerage and management last spring.
A veteran of the direct marketing industry, Barlow joined DeepChannel in October after 22 years at The Lake Group, Rye, NY, a list brokerage and management firm.
While the technical and operating staff of DeepChannel are located in Beverly, MA, Barlow and his list brokerage and management team will work out of Harrison, NY.
Although Barlow would not reveal the names of any of DeepChannel's clients prior to the site launch, he said that the company has been negotiating with major publishing companies. He also said that DeepChannel has had several catalogers as partners during the beta test of its Web site, which will end with its launch this month.