I-Behavior Anchors Database with Hanover Direct

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I-Behavior, a newly formed marketing data and information services business for e-commerce companies, has taken its first step in building its database by announcing an agreement with cataloger Hanover Direct, Inc.

I-Behavior was formed by direct marketing guru Lester Wunderman last month.

The company's goal is to create a co-operative database of opt-in consumer names that will combine online and offline purchase information to serve as the basis for analysis and targeting.

Hanover Direct, which will serve as an anchor tenant for the database, brings with it 25 million people who receive its 13 catalog titles including Domestications, The Company Store and Gump's. Four million of which had made a purchase from the company within the past 12 months.

The mention of combining online and offline data has been setting off privacy alarms thanks to DoubleClick Inc.'s efforts to marry its online information with that of Abacus Direct's.

Privacy issues are not a concern, according to I-Behavior as the information assembled will only be used to target consumers who have given prior permission for the limited, proper use of their names.

Additionally, individual consumer information, such as spending levels or the nature of past purchases, will not be released to other marketers. Also, unlike DoubleClick, the company does not plan to use click-stream data or track Web sites that a consumer visits.

As a final privacy safeguard, I-Behavior is opening its files to consumers who want to see their specific information, and consumers will be able to delete or correct information as they see fit.

The I-Behavior database is a co-operative in that charter members contributing data will receive access to data of equal value. "It's a cooperative in the sense that a member who participates contributes their names to the common pool. Then they can access the names that are in this pool that fit whatever criteria they may be looking for," said Rakesh Kaul, CEO of Hanover Direct, Inc., Weehawken, NJ. "It's a great way to prospect for new customers."

The company plans to combine the offline and online data through its Dynamic Data Link technology. This technology links multiple e-mail addresses to a correct home address. This information gets aggregated into a unified consumer profile that reveals overall purchasing behavior.

Wunderman was founder of legendary direct marketing agency Wunderman Cato Johnson, New York which was renamed Impiric earlier in the year. I-Behavior is based in White Plains, N.Y.

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