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A Farewell To Varibase

April 12, 2013

As today is my last day at Varibase, I feel compelled to set down a few things about them. Varibase, has been my employer, and my home, for the past 4 years, and leaving today will be hard.

Varibase is a great company, a company with a lot of capability, a lot of opportunity for growth, an incredible team of smart, talented people, and a portfolio of applications and results that would make top agencies blush. Their one sin, their one fatal flaw, has always been an inexplicable modesty. As I leave Varibase, I will do them one final service, and crow for them, since they never do, and most likely never will. It’s not their way.

Results are their way.

In 2012, Varibase ran an ad campaign on the cover of the magazine Infopresse. You may have seen the post about it here. It was a great campaign, the response rate was amazing, with a connection over 25% of marketing VPs targeted actually connecting, and a viral postcard that generated thousands of personal greetings all over the world. Infopresse didn’t even mention it, even though it was their magazine that carried this incredibly successful campaign. They focused on very traditional ad campaigns and the end of the hockey lockout instead. This amazing campaign went under the radar. Varibase didn’t even mind. The results spoke for themselves.

We did a very successful email campaign for a major supermarket chain, managing to nudge customers to change their purchasing habits and increase sales. No one has heard of this campaign. It’s crazy. Results like these should be posted on a billboard. Varibase doesn’t talk about them.

We constantly push the envelope of what’s possible in the Pharma industry, coming up with campaigns that thrill sales reps and doctors alike, and give them something to talk about other than “Please prescribe our company’s products.”, and yet, even within the same company, there are people who have never heard of Varibase, never experienced a campaign. It seems even though programs are successful, Varibase continues to be the best kept secret of Montreal’s marketing arena.

They’re not starved for success, by any means, and in fact recently opened a new office in Paris, but I would love to see them more in the media, and I would love to see some effective representation in North America. Marketers deserve to know that the kinds of personalized communications Varibase puts out every day are actually possible.

My departure is bittersweet. While I’m going to have a lot of great challenges in my new position, and an opportunity to build systems and processes that make life a lot easier for my new employer, I will certainly miss being involved in the cutting edge marketing technologies, the brainstorming sessions, coming up with marketing slogans and working on the kind of highly variable mailings the top agencies in Quebec can only dream about.

So farewell to Varibase and their fantastic team! I’ll think about you often.

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