Carat Freeman and ITworld.com Join Forces to Highlight Alternatives to Traditional Marketing Tactics in Uncertain Times

SOUTHBOROUGH, MA – OCTOBER 22, 2001 – In a strategic move to address the rapidly changing marketing landscape including the decline in travel to live events, Carat Freeman, the world's largest independent media services company, has joined forces with ITworld.com, the technology industry's leading producer of broadband interactive marketing, to produce and deliver a webcast titled, "The IT Economy: Creative Marketing Strategies for Uncertain Times". The program is available on-demand at: http://www.itworld.com/itwebcast/IT_Economy and is designed to help IT marketers recalibrate their strategies based on the current economic landscape. The webcast focuses on alternative strategies to consider including how marketers can harness the power of webcasting to get closer to customers at a time when they are less likely to travel.

 

The economic downturn, the tragedies of Sept. 11 and the ongoing military response have left marketers wondering what to expect in the short-term and how to plan for the long-term. The webcast, hosted by technology publishing expert Bill Laberis, includes the latest research from IDC that uses an economic impact model to examine IT growth trends during national crises, such as Desert Storm and the Internet stock crash, and compares them to the current state of affairs post Sept. 11. Additionally, Dan Belmont, executive vice president and managing director of Carat Face-to-Face, the events division of Carat, discusses strategies that include evaluating current initiatives, knowing when to switch gears, how and where to position a company most effectively, and the importance of tight integration.

Marketing, sales and travel budgets have been in steady decline for some time and webcasts have quickly emerged as a smart alternative or compliment to road shows and other traditional sales tactics. According to the Center for Exhibition Research and ITworld estimates, webcasts carry a "cost per sales lead" of about $100, compared to more expensive lead-generating events such as sales calls ($259-$292), trade shows ($142-$185), and road shows ($150-$250). Further, 69 percent of ad agencies who buy webcasts for their client companies plan to use them again this year, while 96 percent of the agencies plan to spend as much or more ad dollars on webcasts, according to Arbitron Internet Information Services.

"This is a time when IT marketers need to rethink the ways they are reaching their customers and prospects," said Belmont. "Simply doing what has been successful in the past is probably not enough during these difficult times. With restrictions on budgets and travel, we need to think creatively about how we can bring our message to our customers and prospects when they can't travel to see us." During the discussion, Belmont highlights strategies such as multi-city road shows and ITworld's broadband interactive marketing platform as particularly effective tools in this environment.

"There is great synergy between the value of ITworld's broadband interactive marketing platform and the growing demand of Carat Freeman clients to invest in new online marketing vehicles that are proven to produce the sales leads they are looking for, regardless of where the prospect is located," said ITworld.com President and CEO Bill Reinstein. "It's a natural fit."

The highly interactive ITwebcast platform combines high-resolution video and audio, slide and web page presentations, search functionality, multi-language transcripts, an interactive Q&A and polling capability and numerous other resources designed to provide an engaging viewer experience. Also used as a compliment to off-line product launches and marketing campaigns, ITworld webcast customers include Microsoft, IBM, Compaq, Dell, 3Com, Sprint, Genuity, General Electric and many others.

The ITwebcast player only requires that viewers have Real Player or Windows Media Player installed on their systems. For a complete list of webcasts currently on-demand, please visit http://www.itworld.com/webcasts.

About ITworld.com

ITworld.com is an online publisher of news, educational content and broadband interactive media for the IT community. As a producer of daily IT news, dozens of topic specific newsletters, leading IT white papers, and a wide variety of webcast programs, ITworld delivers measurable, performance-based results for marketers by building customized lead generation programs around the distribution of content. At the core of ITworld.com lies the ITwebcast™ broadband interactive marketing platform; a suite of fully integrated production, hosting and audience development services that bring webcast marketing to a new level. Pioneering the next generation of IT information delivery, ITworld.com is changing the way you view IT.

ITworld.com is a business unit of IDG (http://www.idg.com), the world's leading IT media, research, and exposition company.

About Carat Freeman

Carat Face-to-Face is the events arm of Carat Freeman. They provide strategy, selection, and measurement services to corporate events marketing professionals. Carat's Face to Face client list has grown to include Microsoft, Cisco, JD Edwards, Vignette, and Philips. Carat Freeman is a part of Carat Worldwide, the largest independent media planning and buying service in the world, with nearly $12.1 billion in worldwide billings and $2.8 billion in North America. Carat Worldwide has over 92 offices in 75 cities across 42 countries. Carat's North American operation services over 400 clients, including Alberto-Culver, , Nokia, Siebel, CBS Television, First USA, Gillette, Hard Rock Café, Midas International, Pfizer, ReMax and Seagate Technologies among others.

 

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