BACKGROUND: The New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is a not-for-profit corporation that serves as the city's primary vehicle for economic development services. EDC works to increase private sector business activity and increase New York City's job base through a variety of programs that meet the needs of businesses in New York City.

PLATFORMS: Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0 or higher.

PROBLEM SOLVED: EDC needed to find a way to compile a database of manufacturing and industrial companies within the New York City area that had high energy consumption. They wanted to target a direct mail campaign to companies that fit the profile of energy usage, geography and company size for a program that would assist these companies to reduce their energy consumption and costs. The marketing department needed to find a software product that would allow the creation of a drilled-down list that cross-referenced energy consumption. They chose iMarket MarketPlace 6.2 to do so.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: EDC used MarketPlace's open data selects to create a targeted list. They drilled down based on energy consumption, geography and company size, until they created a list of approximately 750. Of those 750, approximately 200 companies (27 percent) responded to their direct mail piece within the first few weeks after the mailing. The majority of respondents received free energy audits, and 31 were selected to begin receiving reduced-cost energy benefits as part of this city program. For many of its projects, EDC uses MarketPlace not only to generate lists, but also as a research tool. In campaigns to promote New York City as a business location, EDC takes a pre-determined client profile, makes corresponding data selects in MarketPlace and generates a list of potential companies that would be most likely to consider opening a branch office in NYC. If there are not enough companies within a particular area to warrant a direct mail campaign, they simply choose another market. For example, they generated a list for a city in the Midwest and found that there were not enough companies that fit their client profile to warrant a direct mail campaign. If EDC were using an outside list broker, they wouldn't be able to make these decisions with confidence. By generating a list in house with MarketPlace, they know they are getting only those contacts that fit EDC's client profile.

STRENGTHS: The biggest strength of MarketPlace is its ability to target contacts by an eight-digit SIC code. Typically, most database software tools only compile a list by four digits. The additional digits allow EDC to focus on specific industries that would benefit from their programs.

WEAKNESSES: For EDC's campaigns to promote NYC as a business location, MarketPlace's only weakness was the difficulty in determining if contact lists generated for other markets already had a NYC office.

SELECTION CRITERIA: EDC chose MarketPlace because of its ability to drill down by eight-digit SIC and the updates that they receive from iMarket every three months, ensuring fresh, up- to-date information. EDC also was impressed by the open data selects MarketPlace offers and its integrated database of 20 data sources. EDC found no other product offering the breadth and depth of data they needed to run programs such as the energy-cost reduction program.

DELIVERABLES: Using the open selects, EDC could review and analyze their lists by different categories to research their direct mail campaigns and target audiences. The flexibility of this software has allowed them to determine which markets and programs they should focus on.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Whenever they have had a question, EDC has received either an immediate response from iMarket's technical support or an answer within an hour or two. The best part of working with iMarket is that they have quality software that is very dependable.

DOCUMENTATION: MarketPlace 6.2 is very intuitive and requires very little documentation. EDC has only had to refer to it once. The program is very user friendly.

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