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Direct marketing jobs index up year over year

Sixty-six percent of direct marketing companies will add staff in the second quarter, according to Bernhart Associates Executive Search's quarterly direct marketing employment survey. That number is up from the 63% measured in the second quarter of last year, but down from 70% in this year's first quarter. Just 3% of respondents to the most recent survey said they plan layoffs in the second quarter, and 10% said they continue to have a hiring freeze in place. Respondents said they expect to see the strongest hiring needs in account management, analytics, sales and technology.

Primedia merges two titles to create a third

Primedia Business Magazines & Media is uniting Catalog Age and Operations & Fulfillment into a single magazine called Multichannel Merchant. The renamed publication, which debuts this month, will address the expansion in the catalog business beyond print. It will also cover changes in backend operations and product fulfillment. Multichannel Merchant is aimed at executives at large and small catalogers, online merchants, manufacturers, retailers and other companies that sell products and services across multiple sales channels.

Ziff Davis relaunches site, adds magazine

Ziff Davis Internet, the online division of Ziff Davis Media, has relaunched, a Web site serving the electronic publishing industry. The site's new format covers the fields of graphic design, publishing, Web content creation, content management and professional digital photography. The company acquired last year from Connexus Media. Ziff Davis also announced the launch of a new consumer magazine, DigitalLife. The magazine will appear on newsstands twice a year: in the summer and during the holiday season. It is a brand extension of Ziff Davis' consumer electronics event of the same name.

Alterian buys MarkIT Information Services

Alterian, a database marketing company, announced it has acquired MarkIT Information Services, which provides marketing technology through ASP services. Through the acquisition, Alterian will deliver a new service called Alterian Connect, a hosted service providing administration, upgrades and maintenance to IT infrastructure and services. The purchase price was undisclosed.

TechTarget creates Windows IT network

Information media company TechTarget has launched a network of eight Web sites targeting various segments of enterprise IT professionals who work with Windows technologies. TechTarget said its Windows-focused media will segment the market into areas of specialization. The sites will reach a combined audience of nearly 500,000 IT professionals, the company said.

Media Brains agrees to acquire Berkshire

Media Brains, which provides lead management and ROI measurement for the publishing industry, has agreed to acquire Berkshire Information Systems. Media Brains said the deal for Berkshire, which provides reader service and lead management tools for the publishing industry, will expand its reader service business by 80%, adding 240 magazines to the 300 it already serves. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Winterberry cites rise in `solutions selling'

"Solutions selling," or the selling of products with the aim of solving client problems, has eclipsed the traditional product-based sales approach at b-to-b marketing services companies, according to a white paper released last month by the Winterberry Group, a direct marketing consultancy. With that shift in approach, team selling has increased dramatically. Fifty percent of respondents to a Winterberry survey said they employ a team selling approach exclusively in sales calls, while 28% report occasional to frequent team selling. Only 5% said they rarely employ team selling.

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