A '96 FOUR CAST

"Data-base marketing will proliferate this year because the manufacturers will be driving data-base marketing to the retailers, and the retailers who are getting involved will start driving to the manufacturers, forming a partnership." That's the prediction of Deirdre Girard, partner at PreVision Marketing, Lincoln, Mass. Such partnerships will be the key to success in 1996, Girard says. In addition,

"Data-base marketing will proliferate this year because the manufacturers will be driving data-base marketing to the retailers, and the retailers who are getting involved will start driving to the manufacturers, forming a partnership." That's the prediction of Deirdre Girard, partner at PreVision Marketing, Lincoln, Mass. Such partnerships will be the key to success in 1996, Girard says. In addition, new vendors, simplified software and better use of marketing dollars will combine to boost data-base marketing and frequent shopper programs to greater heights.

John Larkin, president of Spectra/Market Metrics, Chicago, expects to see more co-marketing of products between manufacturers and retailers.

" 'Co-marketing' is a buzzword that reflects manufacturers and retailers mutually trying to build the equity of the retailer and the equity of the brand," Larkin explains. "We see a lot of clients beginning to investigate and work with retailers in doing retailer-specific, store-trading-area-targeted mailings tied in with very specific merchandising requirements by the manufacturers." Larkin says "neighborhood marketing" will drive data-base marketing this year. "Retailers are being much more proactive in seeking out from the manufacturer programmed information that really enables them to be much more responsible for the consumer marketing efforts to the households that reside within their trading areas. A lot of that is driven by the competitive nature of the industry via the increased competitive activity between nontraditional supermarket channels and supermarkets," he says.

Girard predicts that target sampling derived from data-base marketing lists will also spur data-base marketing growth.

"We literally can't keep up with the targeted sampling requests," she reports. "Samples will be sent to a particular household based on their history of purchases as opposed to just random residential distribution. That will grow dramatically over the next couple of years."

Girard also sees data-base marketing growing as manufacturers shift spending away from brand marketing toward "strategic business planning" that targets a company's entire portfolio of products.

"Oftentimes brand marketing is not the best thing to do because one brand can't sponsor that much data-base marketing," Girard explains.

New developments in software programs should also help data-base marketing programs flourish.

"Three new vendors will be introducing software in 1996 to help the retailers manage their customer data bases," says Carlene Thissen, President of Retail Systems Consulting, Naples, Fla.

Thissen estimates about 25% of all supermarket retailers now have card-based marketing programs, and she expects more retailers to begin to use the information they are garnering as a marketing tool.

"The retailers are going to start letting the manufacturers help them. The manufacturers have great experience with data-base marketing. Now they will be able to have purchase data associated with identified customers [not the names and addresses]. The two of them working together will be able to effectively target their joint customers," she says.