The Midwest agency beefs up its automotive CRM by uniting with another industry player.
Posted Oct 1, 2007
Chicago-based Aspen Marketing Services announced today its acquisition of San Diego-based provider of automotive CRM services Newgen Results Corporation for an undisclosed price. Aspen executives said they aim to enhance their company's existing CRM services for the automotive industry with those of the vertical-specific Newgen, a subsidiary of business process outsourcing solutions provider TeleTech Holdings.
Effective immediately, Aspen will acquire all of Newgen's assets as well as certain liabilities, while absorbing Newgen's technology into its operations. In addition, the deal expands the number of Aspen's relationships with automotive dealerships across the U.S. and Canada, from roughly 2,700 to more than 4,500. Moreover, the move will further boost Aspen's current multichannel offerings. "Since we're a major player in the automotive industry today, [the acquisition] just basically strengthens us even more," says Patrick O'Rahilly, chief executive officer of Aspen Marketing Services.
Although both companies offer CRM solutions, Aspen found certain of Newgen's attributes particularly attractive. First, the acquisition represents "a pure market-share play," O'Rahilly says, adding that Newgen "had a nice piece of business." In the end, he says, "our market share [gets] a definite penetration increase."
Second, Newgen brings advanced technological functions, which O'Rahilly described as "great additions to our arsenal." These include Identify Plus, a telecommunications program that, simply put, identifies who's calling and allows Aspen to intercede by redirecting the call to its own contact center. "Some 22 to 24 percent of all calls going to an automotive dealer today go to voicemail or are unanswered," reports O'Rahilly, which he believes hurts customer satisfaction and loyalty. With this product, Aspen has updated information on each of the dealerships it represents; by recognizing which dealerships customers are trying to reach, Aspen can help answer inquiries, schedule services, etc. The goal, O'Rahilly says, is to help dealerships answer 100 percent of incoming calls.
According to Tim Hanlon, Aspen's executive vice president, Newgen "had a very strong [interactive voice response], and we were stronger in direct mail, so now it's giving our customers the best of both worlds."
Another major product that O'Rahilly says Aspen found appealing is Results, Newgen's CRM platform. This service collects answers from customer queries and provides information on how customers want to be communicated with.
The Newgen purchase represents only the latest of Aspen's expansion moves. The deal comes just 90 days after the acquisition of Townsend Agency, a digital-marketing service provider, slightly more than a year after Aspen's July 2006 purchase of public relations and marketing firm DVC Worldwide, and about two years after picking up Atlanta-based predictive analytics firm SRI Analytics.
"We're always looking to integrate best practices among all the firms. So each firm seems to come up with one or two best practices that we'd like to incorporate," O'Rahilly says. Most important, he adds, is that the digital aspects of Townsend and Newgen complement Aspen's current operations in the automotive space. According to Hanlon, that's the only vertical the deal currently impacts, but, he says, it may eventually extend over to Aspen's non-automotive efforts in the telecommunications and financial-services industries. The technology, he says, is "borderless -- not limited by categories."
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