The linkup will allow Advo to deliver, via its direct mailings, highly targeted messages from Internet companies to its consumer households that own high-tech products.
Advo hopes the partnership with Polk, a list management and database analytics company, will expand the advertiser base of its cooperative direct-mail program, which traditionally has consisted of retailer and fast-food ads.
"It's Advo's attempt to take all of the competencies and strengths that we have dealing with retailers and apply it to Internet," said Rick Kurz, senior VP-strategic business development and chief strategic growth officer at the company. "Our intent is to be the targeter of choice for response-oriented advertisers on the Internet."
"They came to us and asked us to create a product for them to offer Web advertisers a paper [ad] solution," said John Healy, senior VP-direct marketing business unit at Polk, based in Southfield, Mich.
MARRYING POLK, ADVO DATA
The consumer data derived from Polk's High Tech Connect database, consisting of more than 24 million records, are married with Advo targeting zones-clusters of households-that own or use PCs, CD-ROMs or online services.
Advo currently is testing the program with more than a dozen companies. One is online discount computer retailer pcsave.com, a consumer unit of business-to-business computer discounter CompuCom Systems. Pcsave.com participated in the test phase and recently rolled out a broader campaign.
LURING NET-BASED MARKETERS
Advo's goal is to attract Internet-based marketers as well as add business from current clients that want to expand to the Net.
"Retailers have a desire to move from a brick and mortar situation to the online environment," Mr. Kurz said. "We have to be able to provide them with the opportunity to do that."
Advo distributes cooperative, or shared, mail to more than 81 million households in the U.S. However, Mr. Kurz believes that though Advo has credibility with consumers in the shared mail arena, it needs to move beyond the offline world to remain competitive and relevant.
"You can't just be the targeter of choice in the mailbox," he said. "You have to