Raised with an entrepreneurial spirit and the charm and charisma naturally nurtured by many gentlemen parented in the south, Daniel Klibanoff of Asheville, North Carolina, President and CEO of Multimedia Lists, created one of the largest global networks for marketing and applied data intelligence across all business channels.
Mr. Klibanoff began his training while attending the University of Alabama. He majored in Marketing and minored in Drama. Directly after college, he followed family tradition by working at the small family-owned business as all before him had done for the past two generations. But, eventually, it became time to spread his wings.
With an appreciation for the knowledge, wisdom, and integrity acquired by working at the small family-owned business, Daniel struck out on his own. In 1977 when the internet was still in its infancy, he began a mail-order company selling skin-care products. However, by 1982 Daniel admits, “I accidentally got into the data business.” When a client in Atlanta recognized that his mailing list could optimize the return of his advertising investment, they built a strong business relationship. Soon after, the company began ordering his lists. The inspiration for the transaction soon gave birth to ListWorld, Inc., specializing as a Mailing List Brokerage and Management Firm.
Expansion was necessary for 1986 when Daniel developed a relationship with TransUnion of Chicago. ListWorld, Inc. provided TransUnion with a database that listed 96 million MasterCard & Visa cardholders for direct marketing campaigns. The result of the transaction generated new business and attracted new clients such as AARP, Citibank, and Mutual of Omaha. ListWorld, Inc became a major competitor within the data intelligence industry.
As President and CEO, Daniel Klibanoff has led the legacy of ListWorld through nearly forty years of evolution and change, managing to shift with leading-edge technology. He has re-branded his legacy that has become the genesis of the globally renowned data intelligence organization known as Multimedia Lists.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
MultiMedia is the latest iteration of ListWorld Inc. My first business was created in 1982 when the internet was in its infancy. It began as a mail-order company selling skin-care products. ListWorld Inc, evolved when a client in Atlanta recognize that my mailing list could optimize the return of his advertising investment. We built a strong business relationship. Soon after, the company began ordering our lists. ListWorld continued its evolution as the internet matured. We changed our name to InfoData, Inc. As the internet became more prevalent worldwide in every industry, email marketing, and social media became a powerful tool and a state-of-the-art marketing technology. To reflect the highly developed marketing industry, we re-branded the company as MultiMediaLists.com.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Addressing the daily operations of the business never ends with the ticking of the clock. I arrive at the office by 8:30 every morning and typically leave around seven and continue working after I am home. I speak with customers by phone and address inquiries via email. The performance of our list has been key to our success. We align the customer to the list that will optimize the highest return possible for our client’s investment.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I typically lead the charge for new ideas and concepts. Ideas are brought to life through a staff-collaborative effort. We examine our marketing, advertisements materials, new concepts, and business expansion. We take our ideas from concepts and apply them to marketing and eventually to sales. Ultimately, I am responsible for the decisions made on all ideas that are brought to fruition.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The trend that excites me the most is the ability to target individuals with more timely and relevant advertising based on their most recent behaviors that have occurred in the online and offline world.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I have many very productive habits. I have an incredible drive and desire for success, a strong work ethic, and a super-focus on attention to detail.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would advise myself to get a better education and to listen to my parents.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I am a big believer in Karma. I believe that if you practice goodwill in your life and practice the golden rule that you will receive a bountiful return of the same treatment. The universe is benevolent. If you put out positive energy in the world, you will receive a tenfold of positive energy back. However, if you are spreading negativity and hate in the world, the universe will provide the same in kind. I have experienced that phenomenon in many pronounced ways.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
My recommendation for every entrepreneur is, do not quit, do not lose faith in yourself, or your ability to carry out the things that will fulfill your dreams.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
My biggest strategy that has been key to successfully growing my business, is treating people right. It is practicing the level of outstanding customer service that surpasses all others. The customer is always given the benefit of the doubt. We bend over backward to satisfy our customers. We bypass conflict or confrontation with customers and suppliers. We treat customers with integrity and we always do the right thing.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
In any business, there have been good years and not so good years. In more challenging years, I increased market revenues from four percent to perhaps eight to ten percent revenue. I buckled down during the leaner years. I became tenacious. I never gave up and never lost faith.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
For people finding it difficult to do business during the current lock-down and closing of businesses, MultiMedia has provided Datawhizz, a platform where people can run their own counts’ and data appends from our large consumer and business databases. The databases are available to consumers on the datawhizz site. The cost is a fraction of the cost from any competitor in this space.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I made a donation to my nieces walk for cystic fibrosis. We do this annually to donate to a good cause.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use EM editor. It is a software that allows me to open extremely large databases. I can sort data and it gets rid of all duplicates. It is fast and efficient.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
When Bad things Happen to Good People by Harold Kushner. In the current climate, it is good for people to recognize that there is a silver lining in every situation. Always look for the positive in every situation and that is what you will find.
What is your favorite quote?
The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall. By Nelson Mandela.
• Practice the level of outstanding customer service that surpasses all others.
• In the leanest times, never give up and never lose faith.
• If you put out positive energy in the world, you will receive a tenfold of positive energy back.
• If you are spreading negativity and hate in the world, the universe will provide the same in kind.
• Practice the golden rule that you will receive a bountiful return of the same treatment.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.