Experian's Direct Marketing Technology unit has acquired a majority stake in MotivationNet. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the move helps lay the groundwork for a new company being formed by Experian.
That company, Experian Direct Tech, will combine Direct Marketing Technology and some other services of Experian and MotivationNet.
The combination of MotivationNet and Experian will provide Internet operators with new direct marketing capabilities.
MotivationNet's core business is MyPoints, an Internet incentive-based rewards program in which Web surfers get paid in points for activities such as visiting certain sites, responding to surveys and joining programs.
The points can be spent on travel, entertainment and merchandise through co-branding partners. Those partners currently include Spiegel, Carnival Cruise Line, Edmund Scientific Co. and Sony Music Special Products.
The company also provides Internet marketers with their own branded incentive programs.
"This is a venture that will make sense in that there's an opportunity for our clients to benefit from the relationship," said Bob Hoyler, CEO of Schaumburg, Ill.-based MotivationNet. "They benefit [from Experian Direct Tech] in terms of building a marketing database warehouse, and Experian is the pre-eminent source of consumer information."
MAKING DATABASE AN ASSET
"Most Internet marketers have collected customer data, but many lack the direct marketing capabilities to convert their database into a marketing asset and incremental source of revenue," said Scot Thomas, president of Direct Marketing Technology, who becomes president of the new Experian Direct Tech.
Experian Direct Tech will combine Direct Marketing Technology, a data warehouse that serves many in the catalog industry, with the list processing services and data overlays of Experian and its Metromail unit, a database warehouse of about 103 million people. Experian is owned by U.K.-based Great Universal Stores, which acquired Metromail in March.
"This provides us with the opportunity to expand our services so that, in addition to the technology we provide, we offer several other customer options," said MotivationNet's Mr. Hoyler. "It provides us with incremental funding to be more aggressive in terms of recruiting clients, allows us to enhance existing technology and helps us to tailor that to individual clients."