announced Monday the release of Ensemble 6.0, a buffed up version of the campaign management product brought to it by the Protagona acquisition.
Ensemble 6.0 is designed to allow marketers to easily manage and analyze campaigns across multiple channels, giving them a desktop tool to sort through information from disparate sources to figure out which channels are performing and which are not.
“Historically, we’ve been on the execution side of the value chain,” said Court Cunningham, DoubleClick’s senior vice president of technology solutions. “We realized about a year ago that we could add a lot of value if were involved up front.”
Ensemble 6.0 boasts a new user interface, the ability to create custom templates, and a dialogue manager for real-time management.
The new version was in the works well before DoubleClick announced the $12.9 million deal to acquire United Kingdom-based Protagona in September. DoubleClick hopes that it can add it as a new layer to its ad technology offerings and use its ample sales channel to drive product sales.
“DoubleClick has the size and strength that allow it to be dependable, while small vendors have had problems with customers doubting their viability,” Cunningham said.
As a sign of that strength, he said DoubleClick would devote 20 percent more in development money for Ensemble.
With Ensemble, DoubleClick has a firm presence in the offline direct marketing world, as the company seeks to establish a foothold in every step along the marketing process, from planning to delivery.
“Customers are going to move to a suite of solutions,” Cunningham said. “We think our singular focus on marketing is our advantage” over companies either strong in technology or in marketing.
He said the key to Ensemble 6.0 is its ability to streamline the planning process to reduce coordination costs. Also, DoubleClick plans to link it with its other ad technology offerings, beginning with enhanced e-mail integration.
The new version of the campaign management product, Ensemble 6.1, is due out in the first quarter of 2003. DoubleClick plans that version to feature enhanced segmentation, data-mining, and scheduling capabilities.
Ensemble is currently in use by a variety of companies, including LendingTree.com, PowerGen, and CapitalOne. Cunningham said a number of DoubleClick clients had already expressed interest in the product, and he expects to close a few deals shortly.
“We’re seeing people willing to vote with their wallets,” he said.