Marketing Technology Firm Wheelhouse Cuts 10%

Online marketing technology play Wheelhouse confirmed today that it has cut its staff by about 10 percent in an effort to refocus on higher-technology marketing work.

Spokespeople from Burlington, Mass.-based Wheelhouse said the company has eliminated about 20 staff members whose “skills that weren’t mapping to the way the business was going,” said corporate communications director Lisa Colli. “It’s a skill adjustment.”

Wheelhouse provides strategic consulting, as well as outsourced mass-market, profiling, and anticipatory/analytical online marketing services. Colli said that the firm is hiring in the database management and analytics areas, and said that the cuts represent various positions involved with functions other than number-crunching and technology.

Those cuts, and Wheelhouse’s increased emphasis in the more data-intensive portions of marketing, underscore shifting priorities in response to rapidly changing demand for certain of its services — which the firm says is “good news.”

“We didn’t expect the business to be this technical, this fast,” she said. “It’s moving much faster than we had thought. But our business hasn’t changed, and we’re still following the same model.”

Demand for analytics services prompted the firm to increase the importance it was giving to that side of its business, launching its Applications Management Center — which hosts analytics systems — almost a year earlier than it had originally expected, Colli said.

The firm recently completed its second round of financing, netting about $52 million in cash from investors including Oracle Corporation, RSA Security and Chase H&Q.

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