News

Intertainer Taps Ex-DBS Marketer

8/19/2001 8:00 PM Eastern

As entertainment-on-demand provider Intertainer Inc.'s new head marketer, Stephen Condon hopes to repeat his performance at DirecTV Inc., where he boosted consumer awareness, built subscribership and squeezed more revenue from existing customers.

Condon, Intertainer's new senior vice president and chief marketing officer, joined DirecTV in 1996 as senior director of marketing. Before that, he did a two-year stint at ad agency Campbell-Ewald, assigned to the DBS giant's account.

Condon has also worked on the agency side for J. Walter Thompson and TBWA/Chiat/Day. He most recently held senior marketing positions with INTERVU (now part of Akamai Technologies Inc.) and GMV Network.

In his new post, Condon reports to president and COO Stephen Ste. Marie, a former DirecTV executive who joined Intertainer in June. At DirecTV, Ste. Marie and Condon collaborated on consumer-acquisition promotions and service-package pricing and marketing schemes.

"I think Intertainer has established a reasonably good brand platform over the past few years, but consumers don't really know about it even as it becomes more widely available," Condon said in an interview last week.

Though Intertainer's true target customers are cable and digital subscriber line operators, the company plans to take its message to consumers in a new campaign starting Aug. 27. For the most part, Intertainer has limited its prior consumer-marketing efforts to direct mail.

Intertainer will initially stage a localized campaign that leverages Internet-based advertising in six cities where its content is offered on-demand to PCs over DSL: Portland, Ore., Phoenix, Denver, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis and Seattle.

"This will be the first time we've done a wider exposure of the service," Condon said. After the results of that campaign are in, Intertainer will look at marketing its service via a broader range of media outlets, he added.

Though most of Intertainer's initial consumer-awareness marketing will occur in areas where operators offer its content and high-speed services, the campaign's residual effects could put some pressure on DSL and cable operators to launch in other markets, he noted.

"The focus will be on our brand, but a call to action may have the brand of our local partner that's distributing the service in that market," Condon said. "We're playing with both [branding and call to action] to find out which one will be the most effective."

So far, Intertainer deployments have been somewhat limited. In addition to its relationship with Qwest Communications International Inc., Intertainer also has a five-year deal with Denver-based fiber-to-the-home overbuilder WINfirst and a distribution agreement with DSL provider Broadwing Corp. On the cable side, Comcast Corp. offers Intertainer service in Monmouth County, N.J. and Willow Grove, Pa.

Looking ahead, Condon said Intertainer would likely add a heavier schedule to its marketing efforts and test out a variety of media outlets, depending "on how widely available our service becomes."

"Every [marketing] dollar you spend has to build a brand and get a return on the investment," Condon said.

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