CompuServe makes plans for intranets

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CompuServe, Columbus, Oh., plans to extend both its own brand and itsinteractive advertising inventory through co-marketed intranets with majorcorporations. Working directly with marketers, such as NEC and Gateway, theonline service company is developing ways they can extend themarketer-consumer relationship through branded online services under themarketer's name that also let the customer access, join, or use on apay-as-you-go basis CompuServe service.

For instance, a computer manufacturer might include in packaging collateralinformation about registering the machine and getting in contact withcustomer service via the a branded CompuServe-based intranet. The consumerwould not only contact the marketer via that environment, but also accessrelevant content that the marketer might have made available throughCompuServe or through an outside content syndication agreement. Themarketer's CompuServe environment could then become the consumer's mainpoint-of-entry on the Internet, or a doorway into CompuServe.

Stephen Litzow, VP-channel marketing, said the company was working directlywith marketers on these programs, which he described as "private labelprograms." CompuServe can brand, co-brand, or be a silent partner formarketers interested in escorting customers online as an extension of theircurrent relationship marketing programs. CompuServe is expected to announceinteractive advertising opportunities for its core consumer service CSi, itsnew CompuServe for Business service, and private label sites in the nextmonth. Mr. Litzow said not only would CompuServe sell advertising on itscore products, but also inside the private label communities (foradvertisers from non-competing categories).

Copyright December 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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