IAR Bits and Bytes

Bigfoot Interactive Rolls Out Sales E-Mail Tool

A week after unveiling its new e-mail
delivery platform, DREAM, Bigfoot Interactive is following up with a sales force
e-mail automation application.

The New York-based e-mail marketing provider announced Wednesday the
availability of DREAM Maker, which allows a company’s sales force to
customize print and e-mail communications through a Web-based application.

The DREAM Maker application, powered by technology from Pica9, a sales
automation software maker, is designed to give enterprises an easy-to-use
template for supporting a sales force in multiple departments and spread
across various locations. It will be compatible with DREAM by the end of the
year, the company said.

DREAM — short for Direct Response E-mail Application Manager — is touted as
giving companies’ greater segmentation, content assembly and personalization
compared to the Bigfoot’s earlier offerings. The company said 80 percent of
its client base moved to the new platform.

Ameritrade Rolls Out $121M Ad Campaign

Online broker Ameritrade launched a new ad campaign designed to petition the company as the champion of the individual investor and the active trader with the tagline “What’s your share?” The ads position Ameritrade as the best source for tools to manage equity investments.

For the fiscal year 2003, Ameritrade has budgeted between $108 million and $121 million for the campaign. Last year, Ameritrade and its merger partner Datek each spent $55 million on advertising, according to CMR.

WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide produced the campaign, including the interactive. Ameritrade will focus its online advertising on the major portals, AOL, MSN and Yahoo, while also targeting financial sites, including Motley Fool and CBS Marketwatch.

The ads, which include Flash animation and rich media, mark the most interactivity Ameritrade has ever done with its online advertising, said Anne Nelson, Ameritrade’s chief marketing officer.

“It’s a much deeper and integrated experience on the Internet than we have provided in the past,” she said.

In one ad, an investor can use a calculator to find the percentage of a company he or she owns.

Omaha, Neb.-based Ameritrade was known in the boom times for its cheeky ads that featured the slacker copy guy Stuart imploring day traders with the exhortation, “Let’s light this candle!” With the pronounced bear market that has stretched into its second year, however, the company has struggled along with the rest of the online brokerage industry, while facing skeptical investors wary of the market after the bursting of the stock market bubble. The company shelled out $1.3 billion in April for Datek Online, creating the largest online brokerage firm.

Overture Tops Estimates

Pay-for-placement search engine Overture beat Wall Street estimates in its third quarter, but said it was planning to invest heavily in its international expansion — which will weigh on earnings in the near future.

The Pasadena, Calif.-based firm posted quarterly revenue of $172.7 million, up 138 percent from a year earlier. Net income rose to $16.9 million, or $0.28 per share — an increase of about 88 percent from the third quarter of last year.

Overture’s figures came out well above Wall Street’s estimates of $0.21 per share.

However, Overture Chief Executive Ted Meisel said the firm’s sizable investments in its international expansion — which recently includes new offices and language-specific search engines in Germany and France — sapped about $0.30 to $0.40 from per-share earnings.

The company also said it planned to spend between $20 million to $25 million during the next year in building out its overseas units, which in fourth quarter will include Japan. That will have some impact on its next quarter, which is one of Overture’s seasonally strong periods.

Overture said that for next quarter, it expects to post $190 million in revenue and net income of $14 million, or $0.23 per share, which represents an increase in guidance. For all of 2003, however, revenues are expected in the range of $875 million to $925 million, while net income comes in between $60 million and $70 million — marking an increase in sales, but not in earnings.

Company officials added that the international strategy would begin contributing positively to the company’s bottom line in 2004.

Get the Free Newsletter!
Subscribe to Daily Tech Insider for top news, trends & analysis
This email address is invalid.
Get the Free Newsletter!
Subscribe to Daily Tech Insider for top news, trends & analysis
This email address is invalid.

News Around the Web