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Online marketer GA takes the lead with custom solution

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Online market research and customer acquisition company Global Acquisition (GA) has implemented a solution developed by JSE AltX-listed DVT that has enabled it to construct highly qualified leads for its clients in the banking, insurance and mobile phone industries.

GA specialises in providing its partner companies with targeted access to consumers who have expressly consented to communication from the specific company. Where GA differs from other marketing companies is that it does not mine existing data sources but gathers information directly from the consumer with the consumer's full knowledge and consent.
"It was for this reason that we approached DVT to develop a bespoke solution for us," says Warren Moss, director at Global Acquisition. "We are in the business of constructing tailor-made databases that can be used for marketing and acquiring customers, so we wanted software that would enable us to extract information from potential leads and intelligently channel those leads to the clients that best suit their profile."
Moss says DVT was recommended to GA as a company well positioned to take on innovative projects. "We needed a solution that is unique and has not been seen in this country before.
"It has taken our entire business to a new level as the software is so powerful that none of our competitors are able to deliver the type of segmentation and customisation we can, and in such a short time span."
The software enables consumers to participate in online surveys, all of which are compliant with current and pending data and privacy laws. In this way, GA collects the most current and accurate data from willing participants who know where their information is going and what it will be used for.
This means GA can obtain demographics that are far more targeted than the usual name, e-mail address and ID number surveys. GA's surveys are dynamic in nature – based on their responses, consumers are directed down certain paths. If a respondent loses interest in the survey, the software records at which point they exited.
GA then builds databases on a partner-by-partner basis entirely from scratch and specifically for that partner, limited only by what consumers are prepared to answer about themselves. This enables its customers to offer products and services that are relevant to the consumers in question.
Chris Visser, account manager at DVT, says the two companies were a great match. "GA has a vast amount of knowledge and experience in the online space, while we provided the expertise in application development. By focusing on these strengths and constantly engaging, we were able to develop software that has surpassed our objectives in terms of functionality, and that is scalable to hundreds of thousands of users."
Visser highlights the importance of organisational maturity in tackling fully outsourced development projects. "It starts with the development approach. Both companies agreed that we would deliver certain pieces of functionality at specified points in time, and build the feedback we received back into the software, including it, subsequent releases of the product. This iterative approach is highly suited to innovation and results in a level of quality that ensures everyone's needs are met."
The solution was implemented in August 2007. Following additional refinements requested by GA, an enhanced version was rolled out in March this year. In a short space of time GA managed to collate databases in excess of 100 000 records for clients. "Our clients are definitely seeing the benefits," says Moss.
DVT, a Microsoft Gold certified partner, developed the solution from the ground up using the .Net framework. The advantage of this is that the .Net environment allows different programming languages and libraries to work together so developers can create Windows-based applications that are easier to build, manage, deploy, and integrate with other networked systems.
"We were confident that, given GA's requirement, we could accelerate the time to market of the solution using .Net," says Visser. "This was obviously a key consideration for the solution we developed for GA."