Vonage taps Merkle for prospect targeting

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Digital phone service provider Vonage has partnered with Merkle in an effort to better target prospects with its direct campaigns.

Merkle, a company specializing in database marketing, has built Vonage a comprehensive database of 80 million prospects called a marketing knowledge center. Vonage will use the center as its sole platform to manage, execute and measure its direct marketing programs. The phone company will also receive support and measurement for its campaigns from Merkle on a long term basis.

"Vonage chose us to provide more than just a technology suite," said Merkle CEO David Williams. "We integrate not only direct marketing applications by themselves, but we also incorporate an understanding of the brand. Ultimately, they were looking for a marketing partner, not just a technology partner."

By the end of 2007, Vonage executives hope to reach more than 15 million prospective customers through the campaigns. The campaigns will utilize Vonage's "A Better Phone Service for Less" slogan in a mix of both targeted and mass advertising.

Merkle's construction of a Vonage customer database is also underway, and should be completed and implemented later this year.

Merkle, based in Lanham, MD, has worked with Nike, the AARP and DirecTV, among others.

Holmdel, NJ-based Vonage provides more than 2.45 million subscriber lines to consumers in the US, UK and Canada.

"Vonage is a relatively young organization that is building its brand and building its marketing presence, so it's in the position to get an early harvest," said Williams.

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