I have the same challenge as any package-goods marketer. We're marketing our vitamins on the Web site, but not selling them there because of channel conflict. We want our customers to buy from our retail partners.
How have you solved that problem?
We print a code on the bottle, which enables the consumer to earn points and when they earn 500 points, they get a $7 coupon toward their next purchase-in essence a free bottle. Previously, they told us their preferred retailer, so when we send the coupon it has that retailer's name on it, so we can keep track of the purchase through to sales.
What's the most important thing you've learned?
Develop partnerships with our retail partners. I have over 300,000 people in my database who prefer to shop at Walgreen's, so when it has a sale, I send out an e-mail informing those people.
You have a staff of six at a company of 800 people, what's that like?
It's coming back around to the point where the Internet is no longer the stepchild, but a very important part of the marketing mix. As we prove we're responsible for revenue, that's what it's all about.