Partners to Promote the ‘Art’ of E-Commerce

Partners & Simons has launched the first advertising for the Art Technology Group, a fast-growing e-commerce software and services provider.
Spending will be $5-10 million.
Partners’ first print effort is running through April in major newspapers nationwide and in The Industry Standard. Ads target senior-level executives and tout the Cambridge, Mass., company’s relationships with more than 30 top firms. “We power today’s e-commerce leaders,” is the tagline.
Pro Media, Natick, Mass., is handling media buying.
A broader push is slated for June and a third round of ads is planned for the fall, said John Caron, ATG director of marketing and communications. Upcoming ads may differ from the initial execution, which was produced to address “an immediate need to communicate,” said Partners principal Gib Trub.
The client is requiring that Partners work on a project basis because the firm wants ATG’s ads to have an edge that comes from “an agency putting their reputation on the line with each campaign,” Caron said.
Although the agency has project status, Trub considers the partnership long-term. Partners worked with Caron several years ago when he was communications director at now-defunct software company Open Environment in Cambridge, Mass., and they have a good relationship, Trub said.
Partners was hired following a quiet review that included Donovan Group, Northborough, Mass., and Harpell/Martins & Co. of Maynard, Mass. In addition, The Horn Group, Boston, has been tapped for public relations; Fitch Inc., Boston, is aboard for corporate identity; and Sharon Merrill Associates, Boston, is handling investor relations.
Caron joined ATG in September and assembled a 16-member marketing staff. Since then, the 9-year-old company has grown to 400. ATG went public in July and posted $32.1 million in sales last year–a 165 percent increase over 1998.
ATG’s customers include 3M, BellSouth and TheStreet.com. Its top competitors include BroadVision, BEA Systems and IBM. The company sells software to build e-commerce sites and provides Web design and maintenance. K