Thursday, November 29, 2007

Spotlight On: Acxiom




Welcome to the first monthly "Spotlight On" post! Each month, we will focus specifically on a company within the direct marketing industry that makes news headlines due to their excellent contributions to the DM industry. Additionally, we will seek out those companies who not only bring us great DM solutions, but also perform exceptionally in the customer service arena. We believe that this monthly post will bring a lot to our faithful readers -- and it makes us happy to recognize a company in our industry who we would consider as a good choice to bring to our clients.

Today, our spotlight is on Acxiom, who was recently lauded by Forrester Research as a "technology powerhouse." According to the press release, "Acxiom was among only 12 leading database marketing service companies selected by Forrester to participate in 'The Forrester Wave™: Database Marketing Service Providers, Q4 2007' evaluation."

So, what did Forrester look at when christening Acxiom with this high praise?
“The company remains a technology powerhouse with a heavy emphasis on proprietary data and deep industry expertise across a multitude of industries,” the Forrester Wave report noted. “Acxiom clients applaud its reactive, responsive and customer-focused service...” AHA! And those were exactly the two components that we were searching for!

As we all know, great solutions are abundant out there in the direct marketing marketplace. Whenever we think that a piece of data doesn't exist or a tool just simply hasn't yet been created, we are astonished to find that it is out there somewhere. You just have to be persistent in your research and chances are, it can either be created or it exists . . . if you look hard enough. We've found that the most difficult piece is, after finding what you are looking for, to be able to actually extract it from the company without leaving too much of your blood and soul behind. Wait . . . do I sound bitter?

The customer focus element is the piece that, nowadays, is seemingly impossible to achieve. Many companies have the technology but are so incredibly difficult to do business with that you almost wish you hadn't found the technology in the first place. According to their own clients, Acxiom has figured out how to integrate great technology solutions and maintain a solid -- and positive -- customer satisfaction perspective. This is why they made the short list on Forrester's Wave report.

Acxiom has also set itself apart from its competitors by its focus on the Small-to-Medium-sized Business market. The firm recently acquired MKTG Services, whose core competencies are in serving this market.
With this acquisition, they also picked up some other key areas of expertise such as marketing solutions for credit risk, bankruptcy identification, and turn-key marketing systems. All in all, this looks like an excellent acquisition by Acxiom. Also, we've worked with some of the staff from MKTG Services -- and they, too, have a solid focus on the customer.

Due to the way that they've managed and grown their business, Acxiom is reportedly the "largest marketing database provider in the industry" and "manages more than twice as many databases as its next largest competitor." In addition, I've recently spoken to a couple of their employees and they honestly enjoy working for the company. According to these folks, Acxiom's corporate culture is one that recognizes hard work, yet allows its employees to put their families first. And, for a large, continually growing company, this is yet another huge accomplishment. It isn't that easy to maintain a positive corporate culture -- while continuing to sustain growth -- in this extremely competitive economic time.

Kudos to Acxiom for getting it right -- bringing us great solutions, customer-focused employees and a corporate culture that makes the company a great place to work! We are quite happy that we are able to focus our first spotlight on them! And, we'd love to hear your comments of personal thoughts and experiences in working with Acxiom, good or bad.

If you have experienced an extraordinary company in your travels, please share it with us. We'll be happy to highlight their efforts in an upcoming "Spotlight On" post.




3 comments:

Ted Grigg said...

Nancy, I have worked with Axiom since 1982 when they were much smaller and called CCX. They were great then and even stronger now. They are a database source to be reckoned with.

As you know, they are based in a the tiny town of Conway, AK. The place has definitely grown since 1982, but it still remains small for such a large company.

Great call on a terrific supplier to the DM industry.

Piyush said...

Just hope that database marketing services and products do not become so accessible that along with direct marketers even spammers start to use them wholesale, if that happens it will become impossible to differentiate between genuine DM mails and personalized spam.

A good site for looking up vendors for marketing software is http://www.business-software.com/

Nancy Arter said...

Hi Ted,
Thanks for your comments! I appreciate them. In talking with their employees, that same spirit comes through -- big company, small-close corporate culture. There aren't many large companies that get that right these days.