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Ex-e-Dialoger Sweetser Lands New Gig


By Ken Magill

Arthur Sweetser, former chief marketing officer of email service provider e-Dialog, has landed a new gig at database marketing agency 89 Degrees.

Named for the position of the North Star, 89 Degrees is a 45-person shop in Burlington, MA, the same city where e-Dialog’s headquarters are located.

Sweetser signed on four months ago as 89 Degrees’ chief marketing officer.

89 Degrees was once known as PreVision Marketing. It was acquired by Valassis in 2000 and then repurchased by its founding partners, taken private again in 2008 and renamed 89 Degrees.

Clients include IKEA, Tractor Supply, Netflix, KIA Motors, UNO Chicago Grill, Friendly’s and Yankee Candle, among others.

Sweetser said the company’s aim is to be “a better, smarter, cheaper alternative to the old, steady database outsource providers: Harte-Hanks, Merkle and Epsilon.”

As a result, 89 Degrees’ point of difference, according to Sweetser, is that it offers its services on an on-demand—or cloud, as it is now more commonly referred to—basis, where customers access them online.

As a result, he said, 89 Degrees can get its customers’ programs up and running more quickly and less expensively than its competitors.

“I just gave a presentation to the largest distributor of Michelin Tires where I said: ‘For a quarter million dollars, you’ll be up and running in six weeks. You’ll have a database. You’ll have a digital platform. You’ll have an acquisition tool. You’ll have email … social, mobile, direct mail and Web all integrated,’” he said.

“And what’s fueling all this is one third of our employees are analysts,” Sweetser said. “This isn’t bullshit deploying. This is modeling, analytical insights and segmentation.”

He added that while he considers Harte-Hanks, Merkle and Epsilon competitors, they probably don’t consider 89 Degrees to be one of their competitors.

“We’re too small,” he said. “But that’s okay, I like it that way.”

89 Degrees is similar in size to e-Dialog when Sweetser joined it in 2004. He helped build e-Dialog to a 500-employee multinational organization.

Sweetser was let go from the company last year along with its chief technology officer Ken Lajoie.

Since Sweetser and Lajoie were let go, it was announced in April the e-Dialog’s CEO-since-1999 John Rizzi had resigned.

Rizzi reportedly announced his resignation internally in February.


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