The University of Wisconsin, Madison finds a lasting relationship with Lorton Data


In the list world, there are hundreds of brokers who can provide a list for just about anything under the sun. Why would a major university choose one vendor and continue with them for 35 years on a regular basis?

“Over the 12 plus years I have been working with Lorton Data, I have found them to be personable, responsive, on top of trends in the data and direct mail industry, and always looking out for our best interests,” states Bob Mincberg, Marketing Director at the University of Wisconsin, Madison’s Department of Engineering Professional Development.

It’s about the relationship.

The Department of Engineering Professional Development offers over 300 short courses annually for engineers and other technical professionals. In 1974, when Mike Harris, then working with a list compiler, first knocked on their door, he learned that the university was already contracting with more than 50 vendors for mailing list fulfillment. These lists were used to target engineers for a variety of courses the department offered.

“By asking questions I discovered that they had no way of tracking where they were buying their lists, or how much they were spending with each vendor,” recalls Mike. “I knew we could bring immediate value just by putting everything under one roof and on one contract, and then reporting spending and usage back to them on monthly basis.”

The university’s ordering process was not centralized or coordinated because several program directors within the department each bought different lists depending on their need, and purchased from vendors with whom they already had a contract. Dealing with over 300 programs a year, and target lists of 3,000-20,000 names, had become an accounting nightmare for the department.

“For me, the reporting was the easy part,” remembers Mike.  “Since those early years I’ve worked to find creative ways to keep them interested in remaining a customer.”  As he advanced his career by forming and heading up Aldata, a list management company, and then through an acquisition of Aldata by Lorton Data, Mike maintained his steadfast approach to nurturing the relationship.

“We continue to work on fresh ideas such as different types of mailing envelopes, profiling specific segments, and targeting certain titles and SIC codes to keep their marketing campaigns successful,” says Mike. “An important element of this long term relationship is regular communication, I make sure I speak with them on a consistent basis.”

The consultative nature of the relationship is what is most important to Bob Mincberg. “Lorton Data has been an excellent partner for finding and delivering quality mailing lists in a timely manner, and has consistently helped us find solutions to reach our target audiences.”