The Ever-Evolving List Industry

December 2, 2009 by
Filed under: Marketing Lists 

My latest issue of Direct Marketing News, 30th anniversary edition just arrived in the mail. I love this publication dearly, since it covers everything from e-mail list compilers, searching the net, to Web analysis.

This edition covers the history of direct response from Bob Stone co-wrote the book “Successful Direct Marketing Methods” it was a business best seller and I have a copy.

Lester Wunderman another direct marketing legend in 1967 addressed the Massachussets Institute of Technology on the practice of direct marketing and paved the way for thousands of direct marketing practitioners.

The list industry was a hot place during the 1970’s for entrepreneurs with good ideas and marketing knowledge. The new technologies were just starting to replace the old card and file systems. Imagine companies like IBM keeping their customer lists on index cards.

Today, again the industry has changed with the digital era and marketers are more focused on data quality and costs factors. The engine behind the growth of direct marketing during the digital age was the technology behind it. Marketers were starting to store large amounts of data and the engine that drove the growth were the list and data guys.

Those list and data guys introduced the innovative techniques like age enhancements and demographics. The key differences over the last 30 years is that the quality and depth of the data that was available had increased greatly.

Today, fast access to information and the ability to merge great amounts of data became more feasible and the ability to append demographics and other information gave lists the ability to do greater segmentation. Later came modeling, analysis, reaching the right people with the right message and later the internet.

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