Impiric, formerly Wunderman Cato Johnson, is expected to announce today a joint venture with ValueFlash.com, an Internet direct marketing company. Impiric, one of the largest offline direct marketing companies, is looking to this alliance and others to boost its online capabilities.
ValueFlash’s key offering is its Vflash Messenger product. Vflash is a downloadable desktop application that allows companies such as client Atlantic Records to communicate directly with customers in real time.
Once the application is downloaded, an icon sits on the right-hand corner of the toolbar running across the bottom of the consumer’s screen. When the icon is clicked, a pop-up window with links to specific areas of the client’s site appears.
For example, Atlantic Records’ “Desktop Spew” includes links to news, video clips, concert dates and special purchase opportunities. When a new announcement or product offering is available, the icon at the bottom of the screen blinks to notify the consumer.
By partnering with sophisticated online direct marketing partners such as ValueFlash, Impiric is increasing its ability to reach consumers at all touch points, said Chris Cooney, executive vice president at Impiric, New York.
“ValueFlash fits this strategy perfectly. It has incredible direct marketing value through its unique proprietary approach to delivering information,” he said. “Consumers can get what information they want, when they want it and the way they want to receive it,” he said.
Vflash messaging can be finely targeted to meet consumers’ needs. For example, if a consumer wants information solely on discounts available for educational CD-ROMs for children 3 to 6 years old, Vflash can notify them, said Shai Bar-Lavi, CEO of ValueFlash, New York.
To further strengthen its customer relationship management solutions, Impiric will be making a number of new announcements. Specifically, the company will soon be partnering with a leading predictive targeting-company as well as an eCare company in the near future. Cooney would not reveal the names at press time.
To date, the company has formed alliances with Digital Impact, San Mateo, CA, that helps companies control and manage outbound e-mail personalization, tracking, analysis and feedback, as well as EchoMail, Cambridge, MA. EchoMail helps companies manage inbound e-mails by reading, storing, classifying, routing, logging and tracking messages in real time.
“The Internet is the perfect environment for us to apply our analytical and communications skills,” Cooney said. “It provides the ultimate intimacy between a company and a consumer.”
The current partnership is a coup for ValueFlash, which launched earlier this year. The company will have access to Impiric’s client base, which includes IBM, AT&T, Ford and Xerox.