While gathering information about Internet behavior isn't a new endeavor, Hollis Chin, VP-marketing for Cogit.com, believes the key to providing better information about the interests of e-commerce customers is having a resource like Polk's TotaList.
"The commerce sites today tend only to look at online behavior," she said. "That's half the picture and half the information on the complete characteristics for a person. When you start to bring in the proven models of understanding on behavior [like database lists], you are getting the best of both worlds."
Cogit.com will target its initial Internet services, RealTarget and RealProfile, primarily to e-commerce companies working on Web-based promotions. The services track behavior on Web sites and match it with characteristics and demographic information on the Polk's TotaList. Both Polk and Cogit.com will market the RealProfile and RealTarget services.
This is the first time Southfield, Mich.-based Polk has provided its list to a company for use tracking online customers and performing online analysis, said Elizabeth Blair, director of market development, high-tech, at Polk in Denver.
"We have had other companies interested in [using Polk lists], but Polk's interest in Cogit was their great analytic capabilities and dedication to moving ahead with the services," Ms. Blair said.
Hal Widlansky, senior director of marketing at Cogit.com., said the company approached Polk when it came time to find a large consumer database that could be used to collect significant data on Web consumers.
"To do what our application does -- bridge offline information about a consumer with the online -- you have to have the richest source" of information, Mr. Widlansky said.
For Cogit.com, the announcement at the Direct Marketing Association conference in Toronto also marks its official name switch from Cogit Corp., an automated marketing group serving Fortune 1,000 companies that is being reinvented as an e-marketing service provider.
The traditional marketing background for Cogit.com also should help it analyze online consumer behavior, because employees understand how to translate the marketing information they receive, Ms. Chin said.
"Internet people are Internet savvy and are doing marketing," she said, "but they don't have classical marketing backgrounds, and they need to be able to