Naviant to Offer Specialty Files
The company recently acquired Rochester, NY-based Strategic Database Group (formerly Impco Enterprises Inc.) from Webcraft Inc. Naviant plans to tap the expertise of Strategic Database Group's 50 or so marketing professionals to segment its High-Tech Household File into "boutique" files of Internet-enabled homes with special interests.
"SDG has some very talented data modelers, data mining and marketing science types," said Ray Butkus, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Naviant, Newtown Square, PA.
Naviant handles high-tech hardware and software warranty registrations for companies such as Hewlett Packard and IBM. Since these e-registrations are performed online, the result is a database of households of high-tech product users who connect to the Internet.
And like the Internet audience as a whole, Naviant's High-Tech Household File has evolved from a small core group of "techno-geek" early adopters to a group whose demographics more closely resemble that of the U.S. population.
As a result, Naviant plans to slice the database into files such as Internet-enabled wine drinkers, gardeners or health and fitness enthusiasts. Naviant's biggest customers are phone companies, banks and brokerage firm who use the High-Tech Household file to locate Internet-connected households and drive them to their Web sites.
Naviant's plan to introduce so-called boutique files should appeal to more specialized marketers.
"A year and a half ago when we introduced this product, we positioned it as something that would enable you to get to the technogeeks," said Butkus. "Today, it's a far different situation. Everybody wants to reach the Web-enabled household. But Internet penetration is still just something like 50 percent, so you still need a tool to effectively reach that 50 percent. Why mail 1,000 when only 500 are interested?"
Butkus said Naviant plans to start with 20 or so segments, but did not specify which they are or when they might be available.
The acquisition also allows Naviant to offer clients some standard direct marketing processing capabilities, like address standardization and house-file appending.
"We [currently] job that out to external providers," said Butkus.
Naviant also expects to expand its ability to help marketers implement large-scale integrated custom databases.
"We only focus on engagements ... where the client wants to integrate physical world customer contact information from call centers, from letter drops [etc.] with virtual-world touch-point information," said Butkus.
"These firms [that are marketing online] are acquiring enormous amounts of information. They're trying television, radio, banners, sponsorships. And you've got to do something with that information," said Butkus. "You've got to figure out what it all means."
In related news, Naviant last week announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Softbank Marketing Solutions, a division of Softbank Holdings Inc. Details of the stock-for-assets transaction were not disclosed. Softbank Marketing Solutions will become a division of Naviant with offices in Boston and San Francisco.
Also, Naviant recently struck a marketing alliance with Promotions.com, formerly Webstakes.com Inc., New York. The companies claim the alliance will allow both firms to provide targeted Web marketing and promotion solutions to their clients.
Promotions.com will integrate Internet promotion solutions into Naviant's marketing program offering consumers targeted incentives to register all purchases online. The companies also will develop an affinity marketing program offering people in Naviant's High-Tech Household File a choice to opt in to become members of Promotions.com.
Under the terms of this agreement, the affinity marketing program will be presented as a private-label promotions package to Naviant's online product registration users, which numbered more than 19 million registrations last year. Once a person registers a new product through Naviant's e-Registration service, he or she will have the choice to opt in to become a member of Promotions.com. The affinity program provides Naviant clients with a recurring revenue stream and the opportunity to continue communications with their customers, while enhancing the end users' Internet experience with incentives-based promotions.
The Promotions.com Custom Solutions group also will create, implement and manage Internet promotions for Naviant. These promotions will be integrated as the online component of Naviant's Click 'n Visit postcard mailer program, a turnkey direct mail solution that enables its clients to access the High-Tech Household File and drives traffic to their Web sites. In addition, Promotions.com will use the Click 'n Visit program and the High-Tech Household File as direct marketing tools for its Custom Solutions clients, increasing the amount of traffic to their Web sites during each promotion.