Mega Goes for CPS Direct

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French software maker Mega International has appointed CPS Direct as its first U.S. agency to handle an estimated $500,000 account.

The account was won through a referral from an old CPS client, said Mark Bell, senior vice president for marketing services at CPS Direct, Woburn, MA.

"The mandate is to build and generate demand for the company and their services," Bell said. "Obviously, we have to drive sales for the company. Our primary task is customer acquisition."

Mega creates software that allows large corporations to integrate complex inhouse systems and e-commerce applications based on the desired business processes.

For instance, the Mega Suite offers a database modeling environment that allows for collaboration among large teams, helping to move work faster on business-to-business projects.

U.S. clients of Mega include Lockheed Martin, Lucent Technologies, Southwestern Bell and Pacific Bell.

CPS will target senior information technology executives, particularly chief technology officers, with tactics such as direct mail, e-mail, online newsletter sponsorships and Web landing pages.

"Right now, it's probably a balance" between traditional direct and interactive marketing, Bell said.

The Mega win comes on the heels of new business gained by CPS from Vermont financial institution Merchants Bank. CPS, a 110-person agency, also has clients such as Dell Computer, Hyperion and The Home Service Store. Billings last year were $79 million.

But since Mega is not based in the United States, CPS will have to work to create brand awareness. Bell saw a few challenges.

"I think it's twofold," he said. "One, they're an unknown company in this country, and [next] it's generally a new niche. They design more specialized software.

"So, the challenge for us is to convey a new solution to the marketplace," he said. "It's a new name and a new solution."

The creative message in CPS' marketing communications will address those issues.

"The message really is: 'Improve your business efficiency by increasing the efficiency of your IT efforts,' " Bell said.

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