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Special Report: Foresi keeps Delano Tech on e-mail marketing edge

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Who: John Foresi

What: President-CEO

Where: Delano Technologies Corp.

DIRECT AND DATABASE

When it comes to direct and database marketing, John Foresi, CEO of Toronto-based Delano Technology Corp., isn’t about to kowtow to traditionalists. He’s leading a company that specializes in using the Internet to manage marketing campaigns, and is convinced that Delano’s 215% revenue growth last year will only accelerate.

"In these tough economic times, where financial markets have turned hostile, organizations still need to automate their relationships with customers," said Foresi, who spends his off time like so many do in Canada—playing hockey. "It becomes even more important to manage relationships in a cost-effective manner. Customers aren’t going to settle for customer relationship management deployments in six to 12 months. They will want it more quickly."

Quickness is something Delano understands. Last year, the company acquired Digital

Archaeology Corp. to introduce marketing analytics to its suite of e-mail marketing software, and snapped up Continuity to provide chat and other forms of live marketing to the product. The day is coming when the activity recorded by call centers, sales-force applications and Internet communication will converge into a single customer database, Foresi said.

"It doesn’t matter how the customer reaches you, it is still a moment of truth,” he said, recalling the successes of such Delano clients as Nortel Networks Corp., i2 Technologies Inc., Zurich Financial Services Group and Mark VII Transportation Co. Inc. "Leading-edge companies want systems that go across all possible touch points with a customer."

—John Evan Frook

Who: Rich Baumer What: President-CEO Where: VentureDirect Worldwide Inc. Why: Baumer has expanded VentureDirect’s healthy direct mail business to include a b-to-b Internet portal, opt-in e-mail marketing and site-boosting Web campaigns. And the $150 million company was among the first to combine direct mail and Internet e-mail marketing in a single purchase.

Who: R. Gary Bridge What: VP-worldwide market intelligence and planning Where: IBM Corp. Why: The thinking behind the ThinkPad and IBM’s entire product slate falls under Bridge’s purview, as does customer satisfaction, global research forecasting and customer-information databases. His creation of a strict opt-in e-mail marketing policy at Big Blue garnered headlines last year.

Who: J. Tracy Emerick What: Principal Where: Taurus Direct Marketing Why: The direct-mail industry’s most influential analyst, Emerick insists that marketers are missing the boat when it comes to the Internet. Emerick is fine-tuning his company, Receptive Marketing Inc., to tackle the needs of construction-industry suppliers while finishing up a new book on direct marketing.

Who: Virginia Flo What: Creative services production manager Where: West Group Why: Flo makes sure some 9,000 direct mail campaigns annually get approved by clients before the printing presses start running. She’s helped keep West Group on the leading edge by deploying Noosh Inc. software that uses the Net to cut production time and costs.

Who: Karl Hirsch What: Founder, president-CEO Where: OneChannel.net Inc. Why: The founder of Preview Software could have retired on the cash he made via a merger. Instead, Hirsch formed OneChannel, which reports on buying patterns not only at a company’s site but at competitor sites as well. Initially a music and software foray, OneChannel now has set its sights on b-to-b.

Who: Larry Kimmel What: COO Where: Grey Direct Why: Under Kimmel’s direction, The Grey Global Group Inc. unit’s e-mail marketing prowess has attracted such powerhouse clients as Procter & Gamble Co. and Nokia Corp. Look for Kimmel to push Grey’s analytics capabilities via its MarketData Solutions database unit in 2001, capitalizing on the trend toward narrow targeting.

Who: Donn Rappaport What: Chairman-CEO Where: Impower Inc. Why: Rappaport is best known for building American List Counsel Inc. into a major player in the management and brokerage of customer contact lists. Now he’s sporting a new uniform with Impower, an ALC spinoff that’s building some of the largest b-to-b Internet lists on the market.

Who: Michael J. Saylor What: Founder, chairman-CEO Where: MicroStrategy Inc. Why: In 2000, MSI’s stock plummeted from $333 to as low as $8.94 a share. Nevertheless, Saylor’s company plugged away at the business-intelligence space, providing yeoman’s service to General Electric Co. and others backed by a solid customer relationship management suite.

Who: Matt Suffoletto What: CEO Where: TechTrader Inc. Why: Suffoletto may have revolutionized b-to-b data with his company’s Scenario Market Transformation Technology software. It looks for meaningful marketing events, such as product shortfalls, spikes in demand and upcoming price breaks, then helps marketers capitalize on the trends.

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