IAR Bits and Bytes for Monday

Engage Signs Compaq to Multi-Million Dollar Deal

The world’s top personal computer maker Compaq will sell CMGI ad and marketing company Engage‘s technology as CRM and marketing solutions to its business customers, the companies said Monday.

According to terms of the multi-million dollar deal with Compaq’s Global Services unit, Engage will license its ProfileServer profiling and personalization platform, and its AdManager ad-serving software, for resell to Compaq’s customers.

“Our profiling and ad serving technologies will help Compaq’s clients wishing to have a stronger interaction and relationship with their customers,” said Engage president and chief executive Paul Schaut.

The companies said Compaq’s clients could use ProfileServer as a foundation to better understand their customers and create personalized, optimized online marketing and advertising efforts.

“By working with Engage, we will deliver more effective eBusiness and personalization solutions to our customers,” said Rick Fricchione, vice president, applications and Internet technologies, Compaq Global Services.

“Engage ProfileServer delivers sophisticated online profiles and is also application independent, which gives our customers the ability to grow in the future while maintaining their valuable data assets.”

The deal continues growing corporate relationship between Compaq and CMGI’s family of companies.

Last August, Compaq tapped Engage to handle profiling and ad serving on its Compaq.com commerce/corporate site, and Compaq also made an undisclosed investment in the company. In June 2000, Engage received an additional investment from Compaq through its subsidiary, CPQ Holdings, Inc.

Earlier this month, Compaq acquired 28,153 common shares of CMGI for $2 million.

yesmail.com, Madeforchina.com in Alliance

CMGI opt-in email marketer yesmail.com will be providing technology for mainland Chinese marketing agency Madeforchina.com, through terms of a deal announced Monday.

As part of the agreement, yesmail.com will provide technology support and campaign expertise to assist Madeforchina.com in building and expanding a permission email marketing network in mainland China.

“We’re pleased to provide Madeforchina.com with the technology and expertise to bring permission-email marketing to China, which represents a key international marketplace for the future,” said yesmail.com chief executive officer David Tolmie.

“Madeforchina.com has insight into the marketing messages that appeal to Chinese consumers and yesmail.com is a leader in developing and deploying effective permission email marketing campaigns. Working together, the companies are expected to deliver effective opt-in email marketing to China.”

Madeforchina.com will gain access to yesmail.com’s robust proprietary technology to develop and manage permission-email lists, deploy email campaigns and manage and monitor responses in real-time. In addition, yesmail.com will share its best-practices expertise on developing permission email lists and campaigns, and establishing an effective sales organization. Madeforchina.com is expected to become an important international reseller of yesmail.com services.

Launched in 1997, Beijing-based Madeforchina.com’s client roster includes multinationals like Ericsson, Ford, Motorola and Intel.

“This agreement gives us access to yesmail.com’s proprietary technology and wealth of marketing experience, enabling Madeforchina.com to offer its clients targeted reach via email marketing campaigns to an opt-in database we expect to exceed 2 million members by the end of the year,” said Madeforchina.com chief executive officer Micah Truman.

The deal gives yesmail.com access to a lucrative market — Yankee Group analysts recently predicted that mainland China will have more than 40 million Internet users by the end of 2001, and could surpass the United States as the nation with the greatest number of Internet users in 2005.

Earthnoise Taps IN2 After Acquisition Campaign

Internet video site Earthnoise selected online ad agency IN2, a subsidiary of recruitment advertising giant TMP Worldwide, as its agency of record, the companies said Monday.

This announcement follows a recent Earthnoise campaign, created by IN2, to boost brand awareness and acquire customers for the company’s consumer Web site, on which consumers and businesses can upload, download and share videos.

“As leaders in the video-sharing space it was necessary to choose a forward-thinking and highly creative integrated online ad agency,” said Earthnoise chief executive officer David Steward. “IN2’s work on our recent campaign clearly demonstrates their ability to integrate an attractive promotion with strategic content to increase our consumer base.”

The campaign, which ran from July 21 to August 2, offered the chance to win a Webcam and provided information about how to use the Earthnoise Web site. The campaign featured interactive banner ads with a timer that counted down to the next Webcam giveaway.

“The campaign successfully combined a relevant, targeted promotion that leveraged the strength of online interactivity with clear brand messaging,” said IN2 chief executive officer James Healy.

The companies said that site traffic increased nearly twenty percent during the month following the campaign.

MyPoints.com Announces $20 Million Buyback

Loyalty marketer MyPoints.com said Monday that its directors approved a stock repurchase program, authorizing the company to repurchase up to $20 million of MyPoints.com common stock.

“In light of MyPoints.com’s financial strength, we believe this plan is a prudent and responsible use of available cash that will enhance shareholder value,” said MyPoints.com chairman and chief executive officer Steve Markowitz.

As of June 30, 2000, MyPoints.com and its subsidiary Cybergold, which it acquired last month, had $139 million in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents, which company officials said they believe is more than adequate to achieve profitability.

Repurchases under the plan would be made periodically in the open market. Repurchased shares would be held in treasury and used to offset the exercise effect of stock options, among other purposes, the company said.

Xcelera to Bring PC Data to Europe

European Internet holding company Xcelera.com Monday said that it made a $5 million investment in Internet audience metrics firm PC Data, with an eye to expanding the company’s coverage to Europe.

As part of the transaction, Gustav Vik, Xcelera executive vice president, treasurer and secretary, will join PC Data’s board of directors.

“This investment will allow us to further expand our web tracking and research services in the U.S. and to meet our customers’ demand for a corporate web tracking program in North America and Europe,” said PC Data chief executive officer Ann Stephens.

Many companies and marketing agencies use PC Data’s audience rankings and competitive intelligence. Its competition include heavyweights Media Metrix and Nielsen//Netratings, both of which have presences in Europe.

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