Direct Tech



New York-based Bigfoot Interactive has just released version 3.0 of its Interactive Relationship Manager (IRM) program. The scalable program delivers personalized "e-dialogue" communications to online consumers. It has a capacity that exceeds 60 million e-mails per day.

As an enhancement to Bigfoot’s current system, the latest version is said by the company to deliver targeted messages more quickly and efficiently. IRM enables multimedia content, flexible database management, enhanced query and reporting functions, and response and survey management. It is built on a platform with a Web-based interface, meaning the format will be familiar to most users.

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Manna Inc. of Wellesley, Mass., has released its latest online personalization software package.

Called FrontMind 2.0, it is designed to help marketers create and deploy highly targeted online initiatives. Enhancements from the previous version include a learning and inference engine, an up-front simulation module and improved return-on-investment measurement capabilities.

FrontMind’s inference capabilities can make accurate recommendations based on a customer’s action or inaction on a Web site, says the company. For example, it can gauge whether a customer clicks on an offer and buys, clicks on an offer and doesn’t buy or completely ignores the offer. The software allows users to make changes on the fly as they define, test and refine a program.


Donnelley Marketing of Omaha, Neb. has introduced MarketZone DS, which the company bills as an Internet-enabled relational marketing information system.

According to Donnelley, MarketZone DS offers campaign management, data segmentation, multi-dimensional list refinement, and decision support – the "DS" in the system name – functionality. The company says it’s designed to give marketers detailed reporting of transactional trends across all campaigns.

In addition, the system allows marketers to move from data analysis to query to action with secure Web access. Other components include a data select module that provides real-time point-and-click query creation; a data view module that enables users to conduct online data sampling and file downloads; and a cross-tab module with two-dimensional tabulation and cell-level data manipulation.

MarketZone DS is client-server based and features open architecture that the company says can accept third-party tools and adapt to any relational database.


Telemate.Net of Atlanta recently released its eSpective solution designed to provide businesses with detailed Web site visitor analysis.

ESpective collects activity data from Web servers and other customer touch points and translates the data into summary and detailed e-marketing, Web performance and management analysis reports.

Key features include a flexible visitor management tool; the ability to group visitors according to standard, user-defined classifications; detailed click-by-click activity analysis; a "WHOIS" database; and a multi-touch point-view capability.

ESpective has an embedded Microsoft SQL Server database that alleviates the need for customers to integrate the application with separate databases. Also included is the Seagate Crystal Reports 7.0 reporting engine that provides standard, browser-based delivery of reports to authorized recipients.

Also in this report:

- The next generation of Net tools: Permission-based e-mail, online behaviour profiling, customized content delivery on the rise p.D12

- Why the current opt-in e-mail model won’t work: Three major problems – and a bunch of minor ones – to consider p.D15

- System links agents, data warehouse: Pivotal combines technologies required to build successful e-relationships p.D17

From Karen Howe’s dining table: Creativity, COVID and Cannes

ICYMI, The Township's founder gathers the best of the best campaigns and trends so far.

Cannes Base Camp

By Karen Howe

I’m attending Cannes from the glory of my dining room table. There’s not a palm tree in sight, yet inspiration and intel are present in abundance.

Cannes Lions is a global cultural pulse check. The social course correction in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and BLM has delivered far greater diversity in the judging panels as well as the work. And we are all better for it.

I’m proud to say that creativity defeated COVID, which speaks to its power. Great work and big ideas flourished, despite unimaginable odds.

The work from the past two years spans a vast emotional range. From the profundity of Dove’s “Courage is Beautiful” to the hyper exuberance of Burberry’s “Festive,” they are opposite ends of the spectrum, but each answered a need in us.

Take note, the ascendency of gaming cannot be understated. Smart brands have embraced the channel. It makes sense, because gamers participate to meet others around the world, not just to play. And they represent a huge and powerful community. That’s why QSR Wendy’s gamified their iconic gal in RPG’s Feast of Legends.

Burger King sponsored the unknown Stevenage Football Club, transforming the team into online heroes and vaulting BK into the fray at the same time. Once again, the brand embedded itself in culture.

The birth of gaming tourism arrived when Xbox snuggled up to travel guides and created a brilliant baby: a travel guide for gaming worlds. It, too, embedded itself in culture.

From the standpoint of social good, Reporter Without Borders showed how it worked with Mindcraft for its “Uncensored Library” to bypass press censorship, with Minecraft providing a loophole to a space where young people could be educated. It provided youth with a powerful tool to fight oppression: truth.

COVID changed us in unexpected ways. We learned how to pay attention again and there was a notable lack of 30-second commercials. Instead, longer format content thrived. Apple’s WFH was seven minutes long. Entertainment reigned king, so we find ourselves returning to our advertising roots.

Seeing competitive brands form partnerships was one of this year’s other great surprises. The brilliantly simple “Beer Cap Project” by Aguila to reduce binge-drinking saw the brand reach out to competitive beers to join in. Aguila put incentivizing (keyword: free) reminders to drink water, eat food and get home safely on its bottle caps from all sorts of fast food chains, ride-share co’s and H2O brands.

On a personal level, I’m so proud of Canada again this year. Given that it was two years of work from all over the world being judged, even making the Cannes shortlist was an accomplishment. Canada is herding in the Lions in tremendous numbers – and it’s not even over. Fingers are crossed.

KAREN-HOWE-PIC-higher-rez-300x263Karen Howe is a Canadian Cannes Advisory Board Member and founder of The Township Group