Control Group, Genesis Direct Acquisitions Build MegaMarketing

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Through the acquisition of a full-service direct marketing agency and a turnkey production shop MegaMarketing has been formed.

The agency's founder, John P. Kelly, has a background in database building and installation and decided to switch from creating databases to helping clients use them effectively. The acquisitions of direct marketing agency Control Group, Wilmington, DE, and production company Genesis Direct, Tampa Bay, FL, are his first steps toward creating a full-service agency to achieve that goal.

"While we were building and installing databases we always felt people could do more to maximize and get more value out of them," Kelly said. "We are going to help companies target and get the value out of the databases they already have."

Though maximizing the use of databases will be the company's specialty, it also will aim to offer total solutions through the combination of its new production and direct marketing capabilities and through acquiring and building other areas. Within the next week and a half, MegaMarketing plans to announce the acquisition of an Atlanta teleservices company that has fulfillment operations. It also plans to build its Internet services area and continue to strengthen modeling expertise.

Initially, the company is focusing on cross-selling the services of its two new agencies. Genesis Direct, which is unrelated to the Secaucus, NJ, cataloger, had $4.4 million in sales last year and lists GNC, Florida Travel, Dupont Registry and Ducks Unlimited as clients. Control Group, with $15 million in sales last year, lists clients such as Mellon Bank, Bank of America, Barnett Bank, MasterCard International and MBNA. Control Group plans to move one-third of the teleservices work that it outsources to the teleservices company that MegaMarketing is acquiring.

Although building databases for clients such as NationsBank, Bank One and First Chicago was the strength of OKRA, a company Kelly founded and ran until its 1987 acquisition by check printing business John Harland Co., Atlanta, his newest venture will not build its database creation expertise to those levels.

"We have all the software for mail and postal conversions and things like that, but we won't be building marketing databases to the extent that we did in the past," Kelly said. "We've moved to the other side. We used to build them, now we show people how to use them."

Genesis Direct and Control Group will continue to maintain their own sales staffs to generate new business, but a MegaMarketing sales staff is being formed to contact companies that could benefit from the company's total solutions services.

The company will focus on targeting financial clients for new business. As its services expand, it expects to attract interest from clients in a range of industries.

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