Spun off from eBay Inc. last year, eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions concluded that the original name of the Pepperjam affiliate marketing program still resonates.

It’s back to the future for CEO Michael Jones. He co-founded Pepperjam, an online marketing agency and affiliate network that was sold to eBay Inc. in 2011 and became eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions, which was then spun off in November. As of Wednesday the now-independent company has been renamed Pepperjam.

“It’s a neat kind of 360-degree turn,” Jones tells Internet Retailer. He and the network’s co-founder started the company as college buddies to sell a spicy, pepper jelly online. The name stuck even as the Villanova University entrepreneurs realized there was a far bigger business in digital marketing services and created an affiliate network, Jones says.

“The pepper jelly is still out there, sold online,” Jones says. “It goes great on salmon and chicken and cheese.”

Pepperjam, most recently eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions, spent four months and several hundred thousand dollars studying whether to introduce a new name or return to the old one. That was an option because eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions owned the Pepperjam name and trademarks. The results of the analysis showed Pepperjam had plenty of brand equity, Jones says.

Pepperjam handles display, social, affiliate marketing and search engine optimization for 2,000 retail clients and brands, including American Greetings Corp., (No. 284 in the  Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, Calvin Klein, Dick’s Sporting Goods (No. 70), Kate Spade (No. 178) and Zale Corp., owned by Signet Jewelers Ltd. (No. 125), the company says.


The company differentiates itself in part by letting advertisers commission publishers for the right action at the right price, Jones says. For example, advertisers may choose to pay publishers higher commissions for new customer orders or lower commissions for existing customer orders or assign commission rates based on order size, coupon code and the type of device used for a purchase,” Jones says.

As part of its strategy, the company in January sold its retargeting business to Ve Interactive and bought AffiliateTraction, an affiliate technology vendor. In November, it purchased marketing firm Digital Net Agency.

EBay Inc. in July spun off its payments unit, now PayPal Holdings Inc., and sold eBay Enterprise, a technology unit, for $925 million to a group of investment companies, including Permira Funds and Sterling Partners. In November those investors broke eBay Enterprise into four companies.

Here’s the latest on the other companies spun off from eBay Enterprise:

  • The eBay Enterprise services division will unveil a new name for the brand later in April, a spokeswoman says. EBay Enterprise, formerly eBay Inc.’s commerce services division, and e-commerce platform vendor Demandware Inc. agreed in January to integrate their technologies and services for online and multichannel retailers.
  • Magento Commerce rolled out its 2.0 software in November. CEO Mark Lavelle has said the company will emphasize its open-source software that lets e-retailers own their applications, host the software on their own network or in a public or private cloud, and upgrade or add extensions.
  • Marketing firm Zeta Interactive in November acquired the customer relationship division of eBay Enterprise to expand its capacity for sending email and notifications to users and to help brands improve their return on marketing spend, the company says.