Article

Peppers & Rogers to be acquired

Jon Panker

Carlson Marketing Group, a Minneapolis-based relationship marketing specialist, will acquire noted CRM strategy consultancy Peppers & Rogers Group.

Terms of the deal, set to close next week, were not disclosed because both companies are privately owned. The Norwalk, Conn.-based customer strategy adviser will operate as a business unit within Carlson and will keep the well-known Peppers & Rogers name.

Current clients, including Hewlett-Packard Co. and the U. S. Postal Service, will benefit from expanded consulting services, executives said.

"We have been asked for years by clients, how can you take us further?" said Martha Rogers, a founding partner of Peppers & Rogers Group. "This enables us to do that."

Specifically, Rogers said, Carlson will bring implementation services, as well as expertise in areas such as direct marketing, incentive programs, billing and employee relationship management. As an example of how the two consultancies might leverage each other's expertise, Rogers said Peppers & Rogers could help a business determine the need for and then plan a membership card initiative to collect customer data; Carlson consultants would develop the actual program.

Carlson Marketing president and CEO Jim Ryan said that joining forces will allow the companies to deliver the "gold standard in strategy, program design, execution and measurement, all under the same roof."

A handful of Carlson strategy specialists are expected

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to move directly into the Peppers & Rogers unit and work with its 150 employees, but no other staffing changes are planned.

Founders and namesakes Rogers and Don Peppers will remain with the company.

All Peppers & Rogers publications, including 1to1 Magazine will still be published, and their editorial operations won't be altered.

Carlson Marketing has 3,300 employees and is part of the privately held conglomerate Carlson Companies, which owns several businesses in the marketing, travel and hospitality industries. Among the brands under the Carlson umbrella are Radisson Hotels and Resorts and T.G.I. Friday's.

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