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Elaine Rubin


Title:General manager of interactive services, 800-Flowers, Westbury, N.Y.

Bio:Born in Manhasset, N.Y. Bachelor's degree in marketing, Emory University Business School, 1985.

Work history:Account exec, Basinger & Associates, Atlanta, 1985-88; account exec, MGA Advertising, New York, 1988-89; account supervisor and division manager, Basinger & Associates, 1989-92; development manager, new business, 800-Flowers, 1992-94; manager of interactive services, 1994; current post, 1994-.

Elaine Rubin is the Pat Robertson of 800-Flowers.

She's been preaching the benefits of interactive marketing ever since she became the manager of the floral marketer's interactive services.

"My greatest interactive marketing challenge has been evangelizing the company," said Ms. Rubin. "Making internal people aware of the potential of interactive marketing."

She and her nine disciples-all women-make up the Interactive Services Group. The group handles 800-Flowers' interactive marketing on the Internet's World Wide Web, America Online, CompuServe, Bloomberg, eWorld and many other services.

Interactive retailing accounts for about 10% of 800-Flowers' $200 million in annual sales. The florist's Web site is one of its most recent interactive ventures, featuring more than 75 products including floral arrangements, roses, gift baskets, decorative keepsakes, fresh fruit and gourmet goodies.

Ms. Rubin doesn't believe a company can have too many interactive services. "It's not a scattered approach to marketing. Every service reaches a different audience."

Promotions have been a key to the floral marketer's online success. For Valentine's Day, 800-Flowers ran a contest on AOL, CompuServe, eWorld and the Web asking consumers to write a poem about the person they love. About 85% of those who entered met online.

Now, Ms. Rubin is off to evangelize in a different environment. On Sept. 27, she joins start-up company iVillage, New York, as senior VP-interactive marketing.

Betcha didn't know:Is she an interactive marketer born and bred? Nah. Ms. Rubin's first career choice was to be a race car driver.

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