Real Media Targets Tech Hubs in Mail Campaign

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Online advertising services provider Real Media is seeking to break into up-and-coming technology hubs with an e-mail and campaign postcard direct mail promotion.


The company is focusing on branching out from established technology centers such as Silicon Alley in New York and hitting new markets such as Houston, Chicago and San Francisco, areas where sales representatives face tougher challenges, said Steve Johnston, manager of marketing communications at Real Media Inc., New York.


Real Media is trying to attract leads for its sales representatives in those metropolitan areas, where the company has only recently opened offices, Johnston said. The regions are home to many start-up Web businesses and represent untapped potential for sales.


The company is pushing the latest version of its Open AdStream software, an advertising management system.


Marketing efforts are being focused on those who will most likely use the software and propose a purchase, typically sales-level employees and webmasters, Johnston said. These are the people who most often approach the company with inquiries about the software, he said.


The postcards aim to draw people to the Web site, which will help build the company's database of potential customers, he said.


Real Media marketers are also preparing to follow up with the companies it's pitching now, especially the start-ups, Johnston said. Many aren't in a position to buy new software at first because of tight budgets early in their business lives.


Even if start-up companies aren't ready to buy now, they may be looking to make a purchase once they become more established, Johnston said. Real Media wants to be there when they do.


"One of the most important things is to maintain contact," Johnston said. "Down the road, when they are ready to make a move to technology like ours, we've got that rapport already established."


Real Media's marketing department began sending out 5,000 postcards every other week beginning in June, Johnston said. The company designed the postcards inhouse and used a purchased list.


The campaign will continue until the end of August, with more mailings expected later.


Also, 1,500 to 5,000 e-mails a month are going out to people who have expressed interest in the software at the company's Web site, www.realmedia.com, Johnston said. The e-mails are part of an effort to keep past customers informed of product updates as well as clear the company database of those who have not responded to previous offers.


"We're trying to hit a pretty broad audience," Johnston said. "We're trying to communicate what the product is and what it has to offer."


Some people get junk mail they might miss, but a postcard can be targeted more precisely to customers most likely to make a buy, he said. About 50,000 will be sent out on this campaign.
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