Robert D. “Bob” Kestnbaum, founder of Kestnbaum & Co., died Friday morning in Chicago. He was 70.
Kestnbaum, along with his wife Kate, founded Kestnbaum Consulting, a direct response and database marketing consulting firm in 1967. He served as the company’s president until his retirement in June 2001. Kestnbaum Consulting was acquired by KnowledgeBase Marketing in late 1998.
Before founding his consultancy, Kestnbaum was direct marketing manager of Montgomery Ward & Company. He also co-founded the Robert Maxwell Company, which was the original direct marketing division of Bell & Howell Company.
In 1997, Kestnbaum was awarded the Direct Marketing Education Foundation’s Edward N. Mayer, Jr. Award for contributions to the education of direct marketers, and in 1998 he received the Charles Downs award from the Chicago Association of Direct Marketing. He served on the DMA Board from 1994 until 2001 and was inducted into the DMA Hall of Fame in October 2002.
Kestnbaum was credited with standardizing a number of direct response marketing metrics including long-term customer value, as well as integrating database use with marketing and media information. He also was a pioneer in applying financial modeling and statistical techniques to marketing strategies.
Kestnbaum is survived by his business partner and wife Kate, his daughter Ellyn Daniels and son Meyer “Chip” Kestnbaum and two grandchildren.
Services will be held Monday, November 18th, at the Chicago Sinai Congregation, 15 W. Delaware, at 11:00a.m.