Enterprise Goes With Net Traffic

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Enterprise Rent-A-Car has named Net Traffic Inc. as its interactive marketing agency of record for a year.

The confirmation comes a year after Enterprise, originally roped in Net Traffic, Chicago, to work on the car rental company's online marketing initiatives. There was no incumbent prior to Net Traffic's appointment.

"After completing the testing process, they selected Net Traffic as their interactive agency," said Jon Morris, CEO of Net Traffic. "As far as my knowledge goes, this is the way Enterprise has gone about choosing an interactive agency of record for the first time."

Net Traffic last year competed with more than 15 agencies for the account. Three shops made it to the final round. The budget for 2000-2001 was not disclosed.

This time, the agency said it was confirmed by Enterprise because of its Performance Path process -- an approach based on guaranteeing cost-per-customer acquisition, which helps clients measure results and revenue gains.

"What they expect us to do is develop the online strategy for media placement, select the necessary partners for tracking, e-mail marketing and other components of the campaign, as well as implement the strategy and optimize the campaign," Morris said. "The goal is to drive online car reservations from both new and existing customers."

Net Traffic also will assist in online media buying and implementation and affiliate marketing.

The Performance Path process plays an important role in the assignment, particularly in vendor negotiations that are based on delivering direct return on investment online.

Before implementing Performance Path, Net Traffic runs tests and conducts market research to determine realistic acquisition costs.

Apart from Enterprise, Net Traffic clients include SBC's Ameritech Web Hosting, Red Herring Communications' redherring.com, Global Network, Chicago Board Options Exchange and FTD.com. Privately held, it does not disclose billings or earnings.

Revenue for Enterprise last year was nearly $5 billion. Enterprise's site at www.enterprise.com was launched last September.

But Enterprise, St. Louis, is not the only car rental company with e-commerce capability. Rivals such as Hertz, Avis and Budget also allow online bookings.

"Enterprise looks for the displaced motorist," Morris said, elaborating on its difference from peers, "so they're going after the local market as well as the traffic market."

Still, Enterprise does face stiff competition on the Internet, he said.

"I would say the greatest challenge that any company faces is developing customer loyalty due to the ease of competition and lack of personalization," Morris said. "Particular to Enterprise, they're interested in customer acquisition and their challenge is to aggressively market their site and meet their desired acquisition costs."

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