Inside Line

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Epsilon, Burlington, Mass., plans to increase its business alliances in 2000, after 30 years of developing its technology in-house. The database and customer relationship management company decided to look outside for new technology and services to keep up with the quickly changing needs of clients and the competitive technological environment.

Carlson Marketing Group, Minneapolis, acquired Organizational Studies, a Toronto-based company specializing in research measurement such as opinion and customer loyalty surveys. The acquisition will allow CMG, a relationship marketing company and operator of corporate loyalty programs, to provide better assessment tools to clients through employee, customer and best practice assessments. Organizational Studies will become part of CMG's Employee Marketing business, which seeks to maximize relationships between companies and employees.

Loyalty RealTime, a new subsidiary of Cincinnati-based Frequency Marketing, acquired loyalty program services provider Data Central U.S., Ocala, Fla. The acquisition is the first for Loyalty RealTime, which was formed to acquire and develop new technology solutions to provide instant customer recognition in loyalty programs. Data Central offers point-of-purchase technology and real time assessment services to restaurant, hospitality and retail loyalty programs.

Bose Corp. is pulling its direct marketing work in-house from Wickersham Hunt Schwantner, Boston, its direct agency for the past eight years. The audio technology company, which uses direct print ads for its Lifestyle music system, Wave Radio and Wave Radio CD, has increased staff within the company to handle the added work, said Cheryl Ferreiro, Bose director of corporate communications. Bose's corporate communications media group will take over management of direct work April 1.

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