Signature Travel Signs .Com MarketingSignature Travel Network, previously Leisure Travel Group and one of the oldest retail travel cooperatives, named .Com Marketing Inc., Orlando, FL, to handle interactive marketing for its new Experts2Alaska and Experts2Mexico online travel portals.
The agency will handle strategy, media planning, search engine optimization, pay-per-click programs, e-mail marketing and Web design. The account had no incumbent.
"The global challenges we're helping the client address are: coming to market with a direct consumer brand that potentially competes with over 200 partners, and entering a mature market with a new brand," said Hillary Bressler, president of .Com.
Her agency also is tasked with "educating partners on the potential plunge while developing a brand consumers can trust."
This is Signature's first foray into the direct-to-consumer market. So far, the company has offered Web content to its members who have their own sites. Signature asked only one other company, called WebMetro, Los Angeles, to pitch.
The first task for .Com was to create sub-branded Web sites, especially Experts2Alaska.com, to drive traffic and distribute leads to partners.
Bressler said the goal is to roll out multiple consumer brands for destination-related excursions after finding the right formula and balance of conversion, usability, marketability and aesthetics tied to a common theme on the site.
"On a more granular level," she said, "the second challenge was to present a huge repository of information in a highly usable format while still approaching the project with a direct response mentality."