Banks and other financial services companies have a leg up when it comes to data base marketing since they already know who their customers are, where they live, and what kinds of accounts they have.

These building blocks were already in place at the beginning of the data base era. As a result, more than a few financial institutions are among the most sophisticated users of data base information. For example, Capital One Financial, the credit card specialist spun off from Signet Banking Corp. earlier this year, is in some ways the most proficient data base marketer in the world.

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