Direct Partners Creates Online Division

Traditional direct marketing agency Direct Partners on Wednesday made a commitment to the Internet revolution, launching a new division, ePartners, which will use the Internet to develop its clients’ relationships with their customers.

The idea behind ePartners is that, because of its parent company’s traditional background, the division will work to reach consumers (and potential customers) both online and offline.

“What is clear in the eBusiness world is that very few customer relationships can be handled solely by the Web,” said Robert Cunningham, the new president of the division, who was most recently senior partner of OgilvyOne Worldwide.

On average, about 60 percent of online activity originates from the offline space. Customer relationships occur in multiple venues — online, over the phone, via mail, and in-person. ePartners expands far beyond the traditional narrow marketing focus to a broader level that maximizes the lifetime value of a customer.”

The company chose to keep ePartners as a division of Direct Partners, rather than spinning it off as its own company, because it intends to pursue that integrated approach.

The new division launches with 20 employees in Marina del Rey and New York City. The parent company’s client list includes Earthlink, E*TRADE, TiVo, XM Satellite Radio, Nissan, DirecTV, OnStar and Pitney Bowes.

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