A new move by Itella in Russia: Customer Relationship Marketing via company acquisition


Itella Mail Communication has acquired the OOO Connexions company in Russia, the core competence of which includes consulting and campaign management services for customer relationship marketing (CRM) on a turnkey basis. The seller is the acting management of Connexions, which will continue in the service of the company. Founded in 1999, the company employs some 30 staff and has net sales of around EUR 3 million.

Connexions’ clientele comprises global companies operating in Russia, such as Audi, Philip Morris, Microsoft, UNICEF and Novartis. The company will assume the name OOO Itella Connexions and become part of the Itella Mail Communication business group, within which it will be a part of the Customer Relationship Marketing unit.

- In accordance with its strategy, over the last couple of years Itella Mail Communication has expanded its direct marketing services into multi-channel customer relationship marketing, campaign management and the related analytics and planning services. The Connexions deal is an important international foothold for us. It will allow us to offer versatile direct marketing services to our client companies in Russia, too, says Kari Kivikoski, Senior Vice President, Itella Mail Communication.

Customer relationship marketing started out in Russia only ten years ago but is growing at a fierce pace. The annual net sales of the direct marketing business is about the same in Finland and Russia (some EUR 500 million), but growth in our eastern neighbour is over 20% per annum (Russian Direct Marketing Association 2007).

- As an innovator in its field, Connexions will bring new know-how and vital local knowledge to Itella Mail Communication. Correspondingly, we can expand our service offering to new markets. For example, we are confident that there will be demand for our marketing material and campaign management solutions in Russia, since we provide these services already in hundred different countries, says Pavlos Ylinen, Vice President, Itella Customer Relationship Marketing.

Itella Group operates in eleven countries. Connexions is the first international company acquisition for the Itella Mail Communication. Thus far, Itella Logistics has been the only business group with operations in Russia: it opened the Moscow logistics centre in 2006, and acquired Russia's leading warehousing service provider NLC (National Logistic Company) this year. During the autumn of 2008, Itella Information will begin operating in Russia, as well.

For further information, please contact

Senior Vice President Kari Kivikoski, tel. +358 500 434 912, firstname.lastname@itella.com
Vice President Pavlos Ylinen, tel. +358 40 838 2024, firstname.lastname@itella.com

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Itella Customer Relationship Marketing
Itella Customer Relationship Marketing helps client companies reach their target groups, increase sales volumes and develop their customer relationships. It provides solutions for customer solicitation, increasing customer flows, additional sales and cross-selling as well as customer relationship development and brand management. Itella Customer Relationship Marketing is part of the Itella Group. The unit was launched in 2007 and it belongs to the Itella Mail Communication business group. Itella Group, with some 31,000 employees in 11 countries, reported net sales of EUR 1,688 million in 2007.

OOO Connexions
Connexions is a Moscow-based direct marketing consultancy established in 1999 by three renowned DM forerunners. It offers one-stop-shopping in planning and managing direct marketing campaigns, covering customer data analyses, conceptualizing, creative development, vendor management and post-campaign analysis.