Peck deploys brand skills in marketing CondeNet

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Hilary Peck once marketed cognac that was 275 years old. Now she's heading marketing efforts for Web sites that are less than 4 years old.

She's the new marketing director for the online unit of New York-based Advance Publications, the parent of Conde Nast publications. At CondeNet, Ms. Peck is responsible for consumer brand marketing for all CondeNet sites, including Epicurious Food, Epicurious Travel, nutrition and fitness site Phys, dating and relationship site Swoon and CNCurrency.

Before joining CondeNet in February, Ms. Peck was marketing director for Remy Amerique, New York. There she managed the communication strategy, including strategic planning, brand positioning and new-product development, for Macallan Single Highland Scotch Malt Whisky, Bunnahabhain Single Islay Malt Scotch Whisky and Remy Martin Cognac.


Seemingly dissimilar products actually presented Ms. Peck with similar challenges and goals.

"This is a new arena for my applying similar skills," Ms. Peck said. "All of my experience has been traditional and non-traditional product brand-building and advertising, both online and offline."

At CondeNet, she's marketing to a demographic similar to Remy Amerique: affluent, educated and loyal customers, she said.

Her goals for the CondeNet Web sites include expanding an already significant customer base--primarily women--and marketing that audience to advertisers attentive to such competitors as women's networks iVillage as well as

She will lead multimedia advertising campaigns, armed with a total 1999 ad budget of nearly $10 million, for each of the sites. The first breaks in June or July for Epicurious Travel.

Berlin, Cameron & Partners, New York, handles offline advertising; Thinking Media, New York, handles online.


Advertising, which will include print, TV and online, will be designed to brand each site based on its "unique positioning" and to "surround" the target market online and offline, Ms. Peck said.

She also will oversee electronic commerce integration efforts, as well as the addition of Web sites to the CondeNet portfolio.

Ms. Peck also plans to add features to existing sites, such as Swoon's dream analyzer and Phys' pregnancy module. An expanded What's Ripe component of Epicurious Food will link weekly produce selections highlighted online with an offline marketing campaign involving Web site-branded shopping bags in farmers' markets nationwide. The campaign will launch April 15.


"The challenge and fun of that will be integrating consumer awareness on and offline," she said. "If we get people to sign on, we know they'll come back."

Indeed, it was her appreciation for CondeNet's products that drew Ms. Peck.

"What attracted me [to CondeNet] was the equity of the brands--the quality of the sites and what they give back to the consumer--the mission, the company and the people," she said.

Prior to her eight-year tenure at Remy Amerique, Ms. Peck was an assistant product manager at Chesebrough-Pond's USA Co. She began her marketing career as an account exec at then-Margeotes, Fertitta & Weiss, New York.

Ms. Peck said she has her work cut out for her. "My role is about long-term brand-building and growing customers through acquisition," she said.

Sarah Chubb, director of CondeNet, agreed. "I wanted someone from the marketing world rather than the Internet world to come with that perspective of how to effectively communicate a brand to consumers."

Copyright March 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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