Epsilon and Xchange Enter Strategic Partnership

Epsilon, a database marketing service bureau provider, and Xchange Inc., Boston, have signed a strategic partnership deal that adds Xchange Dialogue, an electronic customer relationship management application, to Epsilon's marketing and technology services.

Under terms of the agreement announced yesterday, Epsilon will offer its clients Xchange Dialogue, a software product that enables companies to plan, create and execute targeted marketing communications across all customer channels through a managed service provider relationship.

Companies will now have access to Epsilon's marketing, consulting and technology development expertise, and Xchange's customer relationship management expertise, in an integrated marketing automation solution. Xchange Dialogue is a component of the Xchange 4.0 eCRM technology suite.

Epsilon, Burlington, MA, will also include Xchange Dialogue in its new Solution Lab, which educates customers and prospects about marketing automation solutions and can provide proof-of-concept scenarios incorporating live customer data.

The National Geographic Society, Washington, is the first organization to implement this joint solution with Epsilon and Xchange, Boston. After a comprehensive marketing needs assessment, National Geographic selected Xchange Dialogue to plan, create, execute and measure the performance of communications with its members across all touch points, then measure the results.

Epsilon announced this month that it is creating a next-generation marketing platform for National Geographic that will push its marketing capabilities further into the Internet age.

“Managing and growing relationships with 10 million members is challenging, and we're constantly striving to ensure we're treating our members as individuals and continuing to meet their unique needs,” said Mary Donohoe, vice president at the National Geographic Society. “We knew that technology was the key. We expect that the Epsilon/Xchange solution will greatly enhance our ability to establish, maintain and grow strong relationships with our members.”

Analysts also see the partnership positively.

Scott Nelson, vice president and research director at Gartner Group Inc., Stamford, CT, said, “Alliances between application developers and marketing service providers can create a compelling value proposition because they give enterprises a way to quickly and efficiently migrate to sophisticated customer relationship management platforms.”

He said that as “interactive technology continues to change the customer-company relationship, the effective and significant integration of best-of-breed tools with proven marketing strategy and process solutions becomes paramount.”

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