CompuServe gets down to Business

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Regina Brady, former director of interactive marketing who now serves as director-member acquisition and retention, said CompuServe for Business will have a new rate card for interactive marketers available around the beginning of second quarter 1997.

Though the service becomes one targeting business users, Ms. Brady said "I do see us focusing in terms of (customer) acquisition on the business professional, but (that professional) as an individual with interests, hobbies, and perhaps a family." The audience's demographic won't shift dramatically under the service's rebranding, she said. The average user already has an average household income of $91,000 to $93,000 and falls in the 41-44 year old age range.

As for external marketing efforts, earlier this year it was unclear what role CompuServe's agency-of-record DDB Needham Worldwide, Chicago, would play in the online service's advertising mix. During the fall of 1996, VP-online services Scott Kauffman said the company would focus on using direct response methods to reach its prospective audience, rather than traditional TV advertising and consumer branding for which DDB Needham was chosen.

Ms. Brady said now that the company has chosen to shift to its new business focus, DDB is likely to play a significant role. "On the interactive business side they may even have a little more experience than they do on the consumer side," she said. However, formal assignments for branding the new service are still under discussion.Copyright December 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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