Avaya To Target Wider Audience

Interpublic Group is getting more connected to telephony company Avaya, which has added one more IPG agency to its roster and bulked up its interactive business at another—assignments that sources estimated to be worth a total of $15 million in billings.

Citing the need for providers of telephony hardware, software and services to reach a broader level of executive decision makers, Avaya has tapped MRM Worldwide as its first direct-marketing shop, said Jocelyne Attal, CMO of the Basking Ridge, N.J.-based client.

MRM was chosen last month after a review of undisclosed direct-marketing agencies to handle a new business-to-business campaign that highlights “best practices” in Avaya’s central contact center. New work will launch Wednesday and include print, direct marketing and online executions.

“We went from [talking to] a single audience to a multiple audience” in communicating what Avaya provides to businesses, Attal said. “Now we have to talk to C-level executives, to network and IT people as well as CMOs and CFOs” about security, reliability and cost-effectiveness.

Avaya also needs to play catch-up with chief rival Cisco Systems in sales. According to Hoover’s Online, Avaya had 2003 sales of about $5 billion, compared with more than $20 billion for Cisco, in fiscal year ending July 2004.

IPG interactive unit R/GA— already an Avaya roster shop, having handled the redesign of the company’s Web site—will now also create the client’s online advertising. Attal would not discuss spending.

McCann Erickson has handled Avaya’s traditional ad account since 2002. The company spends an estimated $30 million globally, two-thirds of that in the U.S.