Phobo Kicks Off Promotions for New Sites

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The Phobo.com network is using a mix of online marketing tactics to drive traffic to its recently opened niche sites, www.boatingonly.com and www.insanitysauce.com.


Phobo, Irvine, CA, a network of interactive Web sites, is promoting the niche sites, which debuted this month, by incorporating information and links to them in its e-mail newsletter. The monthly newsletter is distributed to several hundred thousand recipients who opted in to receive information and promotions from www.boatersworld.com, www.ritzcamera.com and www.fishingonly.com, among other Phobo sites, the company said.


Andre Brysha, vice president and chief marketing officer at Phobo, said the company also will cross-promote the new Web sites within the network. Additionally, Phobo will place banner ads for the sites on affiliate Web sites that already have their banner ads positioned on Boatingonly and Insanitysauce, Brysha said.


Phobo introduced Boatingonly, a Web portal geared toward boating enthusiasts, to complement its www.boatersworld.com e-commerce site, Brysha said.


"Our core philosophy is that on the pure e-commerce site we don't want to distract or confuse our customers," he said. "We're not trying to be everything for everyone. We wanted to give an environment to our customers that gives them the ability to garner additional information."


The site also gives advertisers a platform to reach the boating-enthusiast, Brysha said. Phobo does not sell advertising space on its e-commerce sites, he said.


Meanwhile, Phobo debuted Insanitysauce in conjunction with San Francisco-based sauce maker Dave's Gourmet. Phobo owns the Web site, but Dave's Gourmet sources Phobo with the inventory, he said.


Brysha said Phobo will cross-promote Insanitysauce within its network, too, and he believes there is synergy between the fishing industry and hot sauces. Phobo has not conducted any market research to support that belief, however.


Finally, Phobo and Dave's Gourmet are trying to finalize plans in which Phobo will be able to use Dave's Gourmet opt-in, demographic information to market the site, Brysha said.


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