OUTLOOK & STRATEGIES: CLIENTLOGIC
LIST MANAGEMENT 2006;THE CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES
CLIENTLOGIC SPECIALISTS MARKETING SERVICES
1200 Harbor Blvd.
Weehawken, NJ 07086
OUTLOOK & STRATEGIES FOR 2006
"From where I sit," says Lon Mandel, Marketing Services Officer at Clientlogic, "our outlook for 06 is very strong in terms of our ability to acquire new properties and increase our client base. In recent months, we've added about 50 new titles to the list management side of our business, and that will have a tremendously positive impact in the coming year."
In fact, Mandel also believes '06 will be positive from an overall industry perspective. "We're seeing stronger response rates, more use of multi-channel marketing, and a lot more interest in direct mail marketing," he notes.
That increased interest in direct mail, by the way, seems to be coming from the consumer side. "When the consumer receives a mailing now, it's almost refreshing," Mandel suggests. Whether that's because of cutbacks in direct mail promotions over the last several years or the increased use of email marketing, he believes a rebirth of back-to-basics direct mail is definitely a major highlight of the outlook for 2006.
That doesn't mean that Clientlogic will be making any dramatic changes. "The strategies that we've implemented over the last three years are now paying off," says Mandel. Basically, that has involved diversifying Clientlogic's client base to include several categories of business;publishing certainly being one of the largest;with respect to both list management and list brokerage. "So we're sticking with that and growing the business very nicely," he says.
As for clients, strategic recommendations for the coming year will vary. "We analyze every category of business and every client within that category," Mandel says, "and then advise them to implement different strategies, depending on their individual goals. The recommendations might be to change their media mix, consider exchanging rather than renting lists, using more (or less) response data vs. compiled data, making better use of modeling techniques and more. There's no single overriding strategy that we're suggesting that our clients consider for 2006."
What, then, are the three most important challenges facing the list industry in 2006? Mandel believes two of those challenges are a likely postal increase and pending legislation on privacy issues. The third challenge that he sees for the industry is a lack of experienced talent. "When we need to staff up," he says, "it's becoming harder and harder to find seasoned list professionals to bring into the fold." Over the last couple years;and certainly during the dot.com boom;"there was movement out of the list industry, "he adds, "and some of those people have not come back." For Clientlogic, the solution is to create training programs and bring in fresh blood. Nevertheless, the ramp-up time is much longer than in the past;and that is the challenge.
As its most distinguishing feature compared to its competitors, Clientlogic offers an in-house service bureau that supports its list-management division, enabling the company to do list fulfillment in-house;"something that most companies do not do," according to Mandel. "Also," he adds, "we are not locked into one data source. We have great relationships with several data providers. So when we want to enhance lists, we can go directly to the right company for the right list."
In the coming months, Clientlogic plans on offering additional consulting services across the various categories in which it does businessï¾…including, of course, publishing.
Clientlogic's top clients in the publishing sphere include Bookspan, Primedia, Consumer Health Publishing (Harvard Health Letter), Playboy Enterprises, Weider Publications, Wenner Media, and F&W Publications. Some of the company's top clients outside publishing are BMG, Victoria's Secret, Williams-Sonoma, and J. Crew.
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