DMA show watchwords: return on investment

Marketers on lookout for cost-effective site tools

A new emphasis on bottom-line results—and not development for development’s sake—prevailed at last week’s Direct Marketing Association spring 2001 conference and exhibition in Seattle, as vendors sought an edge that will keep b-to-b marketers coming through their doors.

Products and services introduced were framed as return-on-investment tools tailor-made for corporate marketers working on skimpy budgets. Campaign analytics, new delivery technologies and exchange enablers were among the new products introduced by such companies as digiMine Inc., iQ Commerce Corp., MatchLogic Inc. and Infinitemarket Inc.

“ROI is probably the most frequently used term here at the show this year,” said Ken Burke, president-CEO of e-commerce development studio Multimedia Live, Petaluma, Calif. “Direct marketers are definitely looking to improve their Web site, invest in infrastructure and develop this new channel [the Internet]. But they are doing it cautiously and adhering to sound business fundamentals.”

Providing sound business numbers is the drive behind digiMine’s Campaign Response Analytics, which the company is marketing under the brand name digiMine CRA. DigiMine, headed by former Microsoft Corp. executives, demonstrated the product’s ability to glean such information as lifetime customer value and acquisition cost per customer.

 “Most companies on the Web today are spending a tremendous amount on their sites, and being able to acquire customers in a cost-effective manner is important,” said Stephanie Peterson, director of business development for digiMine, Kirkland, Wash. “To date, it has been difficult to track the effectiveness of a campaign. These new analytics applications are all about ROI.”

MatchLogic, Westminster, Colo., also provided a new wrinkle to campaign management. The company has long sold high-end campaign management and analytic applications to corporations and advertising agencies interested in running all aspects of Internet advertising and marketing, as well as low-end services for marketers interested only in getting spreadsheet reports on a campaign’s results.

 Last week, MatchLogic introduced a middle-ground product. MatchLogic Client Drive allows marketers to make changes to campaigns through a Web browser and create customized reports.

“Advertisers and agencies are trying to see where they fit in the Internet, and how much work they want to do,” said Greg Neal, senior product manager-ad serving for MatchLogic. “Some want it all in-house, some want to outsource it, and some want to be somewhere in between. Client Drive allows those marketers and agencies in the middle to be more involved in strategic planning.”

Speaking in tongues

Delivery mechanisms also took center stage. IQ Commerce Corp. said its just-released iQ Digital Direct Marketing Suite can be used to produce and deliver direct marketing materials globally. The Saratoga, Calif.-based company said the product allows marketers to run campaigns in 11 languages: English, Brazilian Portuguese, traditional Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin American Spanish and Swedish.

Meanwhile, e-marketing campaign company NewWorld Direct, Dublin, Ireland, said it has licensed streaming video technology from Seattle-based Vendaria Inc. The deal means that NewWorld will be able to deliver streaming video marketing messages embedded within Web sites and e-mail and viewable by browsers with modem speeds as slow as 36 KBps, well below the average speed of a b-to-b browser.

Radical Communication Inc., Marina Del Rey, Calif., and Annuncio Software Inc., Mountain View, Calif., announced a partnership that will allow customers of Radical’s streaming e-mail services to run campaigns and report on their efficacy through Annuncio’s marketing software platform.

Also coming out of the gates in Seattle was Exstream Data Inc., Oakland, which introduced an e-mail product called Gooeymail. The platform allows for rich-media presentations within opt-in e-mail.

Infinitemarket, Newton, Mass., used the show to introduce software and services aimed at b-to-b manufacturers. Its Exchange Rocket allows manufacturers to create aftermarket, private-label Internet exchanges for their buyer communities. The company said Exchange Rocket will allow manufacturers to generate revenue by collecting commissions on products sold after they leave their factories.

“We think we’re on to a new concept that’s easy and rapidly deployable for any licensee,” said Joseph Luchison, director-marketing and sales for Infinitemarket. “Manufacturers that are going to succeed on the Web are those able to use it for alternative revenue streams. We’ve got a tool for them to build new markets in a fully branded way.”

By: John Evan Frook

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