The industry mantra of transforming marketing from product- and campaign-centric efforts to customer-centric, relationship-building offerings is so oft-repeated that it's easy to forget that most banks are far from having the technology to support this ideal. First Union, however, will be considerably closer than many of its peers with the forecast mid- year completion of its data warehouse and data mart solutions that team IBM, Informix, SAS, ab initio and Tessera Enterprise Systems.

For the past several years, First Union has sought to migrate to a relationship marketing paradigm, a Herculean challenge given limitations of its external database marketing setup with Harte-Hanks, a direct marketing company, says Naras Eechambadi, svp in corporate marketing at First Union.

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