Experian touts service via Webcast

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Experian explores a new marketing venue this week with a live Webcast promoting Visitor Insight, its online database service.

The 30-minute Webcast is set for Feb. 16, and will include streaming audio and video, polling during the presentation and a real-time question-and-answer session with Scot Thomas, CEO of Experian's Marketing Solutions unit, as well as the unit's directors of technology and interactive marketing.

"These are the three guys who can talk to you directly and answer your questions real-time," said Julie Springer, Experian's director of Internet communications strategy. "In a way, it's one-to-one marketing for everyone who is watching."

DIRECT MAIL BACKS WEBCAST

Orange, Calif.-based Experian has promoted the Webcast via direct mail, online ads and its Web site (experian.com). The Webcast also marks the database marketer and credit reporting service's kickoff of a new marketing campaign, created in-house, that features the tagline "Opportunity used to knock. Now it clicks."

While Ms. Springer wouldn't estimate how many people will log onto the presentation, she said the Webcast medium seems ideally suited to promote Experian's database products.

"This is a natural extension of all the other marketing efforts that have been going on and will be going on," she said. "It intensifies all of the other messages because it's such a condensed and dynamic way to get all this information out there."

In addition to providing potential customers with detailed information about Visitor Insight, the Webcast will allow Experian to gather information from people registered for the Webcast and to reuse the production as a sales tool.

"We're really trying to push the envelope in the way we market," Ms. Springer said. "None of our competitors has used this technology for marketing purposes."

HEAVY USERS OF COMPUTERS

Business-to-business Webcasts, from product launches and CEO talks to conferences and business education, account for about 90% of the productions organized through Web portal Yahoo!'s broadcast.com, said Stan Woodward, VP-business services at Yahoo!, which is involved with the Experian Webcast.

Live Webcasts also make sense for business-to-business applications because the target audience spends a lot of time in front of computers, Mr. Woodward said.

"It's a great [marketing] point if you're in a business vertical and your competitors haven't used this," he said. "People like Experian whose competitors haven't picked up on this could gain a significant marketing advantage and learn how to tailor the product for their client base."

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