Best Buy launches six niche sites

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Less than a year ago, Best Buy had just one Web site, bestbuy.com. It was a one-size-fits-all site, typical in the retail industry, with e-commerce, store locator search and product descriptions. It treated tech geeks and the tech-challenged equally. And that simply didn't work.

Today, though, a busy, working mom flipping through the pages of Real Simple finds a print ad luring her to lifebrarian.com, not bestbuy.com. The content here would make a gamer cry with boredom.

And that's exactly the point. Best Buy's launch of six special-interest sites and promotion in magazines are meant to appeal specifically to certain audience segments. Ceo.com, for example, has recommendations from Corporate America's business elite.

Although Best Buy is a big spender in mass-market advertising, especially TV, Ruby Anik, senior VP-advertising at Best Buy, said there's a growing acknowledgement within the company that multi-channel marketing needs to be more than just TV, Web and print ads.

"The Targets and the Wal-Marts of the world now sell a lot of the same product we do," Ms. Anik said. "We have to build personal connections."

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