Charchaflian leverages Merkle's technology

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Pierre Charchaflian was appointed VP-client management services at Merkle Direct Marketing in late December and has spent the last seven months bringing a structured approach to account management and strengthening customer relationship management.

Charchaflian, previously senior VP-strategic marketing services at BeNow, oversees Merkle's database, data solutions, mailing services and data processing units.

"We sell technology, data and data processing [services], the classic products that any database marketing company offers," he said. "But beyond delivering that, we take it to the next level and ask clients, `Why are you using these services and how can you gain a greater return?' It's a whole different engagement with the client. We want to drive impact for our clients."

Charchaflian said it is also important to understand the types of customers a client has and to determine their economic value, "so that [the marketer is] neither overinvesting nor underinvesting" in them.

Charchaflian said he understands the technology necessary to realize business goals. "I've always straddled the fence between technology and business, but more on the business side on how to leverage the technology," he said.

The ultimate question Charchaflian always asks is: "How do we better help our clients leverage database marketing?" He said the ultimate challenge, then, "is not lack of information, but lack of ability to leverage that information."

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