Ask the CEO of any market leader in any industry and he will tell you that the irony of success is that it forces you to keep building on an already prosperous foundation. In other words, you're never quite finished- despite past achievements.

The Microsofts and America Onlines of the world know this all too well. These companies are great examples of the "success curse" in that they have radically redefined the potential of the markets they dominate (perhaps a gross understatement for Microsoft). So much so that officials of these companies know that their respective dominant positions have become the bull's eye of competitors. Hence the constant push to stay out in front, relying on the combined weaponry of innovation and marketing skill to grow market share and revenues.

Dominant players in the financial services industry are also finding themselves caught in the success quagmire. Challenged to abandon conventional wisdom, companies like Schwab, Citibank, Allstate and Fidelity, among others, are all devising strategies that will preserve their brand and lead to more customers at increased profitability levels, with products and services being distributed across multiple channels.

Financial Services Marketing can help in this pursuit of on-going brand dominance. Launched in 1998 as a quarterly supplement to American Banker, FSM received overwhelming response from its readers-bankers, insurers, brokers and asset managers-all of whom expressed intense interest in a publication that specifically addressed issues related to branding, customer relationship management (CRM), call centers, data warehousing and Internet-based marketing.

The response from FSM readers is no surprise: Research shows that marketing and CRM initiatives will play a greater role in establishing brand dominance and customers' share of wallet during industry consolidation and the solidification of call centers and the Internet as vital marketing channels.

In 1999, FSM will relaunch as a standalone magazine and increase its frequency to six issues. Editorial sections will be expanded to include components on media spending, Internet marketing, agency news, segmentation strategies, market research, sales measurement, and call center technology investment and training tools.

Look for the first official magazine issue in February.

- HOLLY SRAEEL

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