Are M&As in the List Biz Good for Mailers? Panel Squares Off
The panel didn’t shy away from the issue of quality service when list firms get acquired. Mallin notes the necessity of maintaining a high level service for clients, focusing on customers. “You lose customers when you fail to serve them, not price quotes,” he says. “This is a service business,” Mandel agrees. “The assets are the people who work for us.”
The panel also discussed employee impact during acquisitions and the need for continuity between the acquiring and acquired companies. “We won’t buy a company that doesn’t have the same culture,” Mandel says. “If you’re not all going the same direction, it’s not going to work. Integrate very early. Know who’s coming, who’s going.”
Mallin says that infoUSA emphasizes its ability to cross-sell between groups. That’s the result of creating one culture between all of its groups.
Healey says that he’d like to see a return of innovation in the list business. The current rise of mergers and acquisitions speaks to the need for efficiency, he points out. But he’s concerned this has come at the cost of innovation. So he’d like to see a slow down in M&As with greater emphasis placed back on innovation.