By Glen Fest
DALLAS--Without so much as a handshake, SicolaMartin's interactive division was able to land its largest CD-ROM development project via the Internet.
In what Austin, Texas-based SicolaMartin and IBM software officials in Raleigh, N.C., said was a new approach for both companies, a marketing deal was reached based solely on spec research work and a pitch conducted strictly over the World Wide Web.
'There were four or five of us here in Austin, and two or three in North Carolina on the IBM side, who were in a conference call,' said SicolaMartin Interactive (SMI) vice president and general manager Pete Hayes. 'We showed them (our proposals) by clicking through the Web site' that the agency developed in less than a week, featuring ideas for IBM's eNetwork Software Interactive Education CD-ROM project for resellers.
Each person sat in front of a computer monitor, following a path that Hayes and others were directing on the password-protected site. 'We appreciated that they were progressive enough to use the technology to pitch the business,' said eNetwork manager Carol Smith in a statement. 'This approach was a first for us. It might even be a first for IBM for a project of this size.'
Fees for the project were not disclosed.
In its assignment, SMI will overhaul the format of eNetwork's On-Demand Education disk. Instead of a single CD to store product data, the agency will utilize a protected Internet site to maintain much of the information that requires frequent updates and upgrades. The CD containing the necessary programming architecture will be needed to access the Web site.
SicolaMartin not only proposed the hybrid format, but also offered to conduct a telephone and e-mail survey of resellers to gauge effectiveness--a service normally not within the capabilities of most new media boutiques, said Hayes.
The North Carolina networks group now joins other Big Blue units such as the Austin-based marketing events division on SicolaMartin's client roster.
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