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Digitrends

Fall 1998: Kodak Takes Its Pictures Further on the Web

The Eastman Kodak Company's catchy moniker, 'Take Pictures Further' tm, also holds true for its Web site: www.kodak.com. It's easy to navigate despite its huge size -- 35,000+ pages, 11 sites internationally.

Since its February 1995 launch by Kodak Network Services, the department that develops and maintains the Web site for the Rochester, NY-based company, Kodak has focused on developing ways to get people excited about photography, while simultaneously building brand awareness and strengthening market share.

Kathleen Sheehan, Kodak's general manager-Internet Marketing, says the company's original goals and objectives were simple: Generate incremental revenue; establish a global Internet presence; reach Kodak customers and users of the Internet; extend its 'Take Pictures Further' tm brand campaign; and solidify its position as the world's imaging leader. She says all of the above have been achieved. During the first half of 1998, Kodak reports that there were 177,438,693 hits and 36,243,522 page views. There were 278,744 free software downloads pulled during the first six months of the year, translating to about $7 million in savings for customers.

The company's Kodak Online Shopping

(www.kodak.com/go/shop) has posted $1.5 million in revenue since December 1997, just a fly speck when compared to Kodak's total annual revenues of $14.5 billion, but as Sheehan points out, the online shopping service is still very new.

The site may be huge, but it's easy to explore. Some of the more innovative features that help draw traffic include:

1. PictureThis postcards (www.kodak.com/go/picturethis). This allows users to create and e-mail personal or prefab multimedia postcards worldwide and is available in both HTML and Shockwave versions.

2. PhotoChat (www.kodak.com/go/photochat) is an interactive chat environment. One major feature of this section, 'Show&Tell' is a chat event hosted by a professional photographer participants view and share pictures and have their photography questions answered by the photographer.

3. PhotoQuilt (www.kodak.com/go/photoquilt) is Kodak's newest site feature, and weaves personal pictures and stories worldwide into a huge collection arranged like a virtual patchwork quilt.

Sheehan adds that the Web site has changed considerably since 1995. "As the Web has evolved, we have found new ways to use it-we were initially focused on simply sharing information but are now concentrated more on brand building," she says. "The site has become a full business channel now and we're always investigating new ways to interact with customers online." Sheehan says that Kodak is also strengthening its retail and dealer sales by harnessing the Web.

"When we launched our digital cameras we put interactive demos on the site which was very helpful to retailers and dealers. We also provide dealers with a password protected area that gives them proprietary information such as price lists and dealer selling tips." Although Kodak doesn't sell banners or post any of its own on the site, it does offer a lot of sweepstakes and promotions to attract visitors.

The company has also formed strategic alliances to help generate online traffic. Kodak, for example, recently did a promotional tie-in with Microsoft and its release of Windows 98. Kodak also has a multi-year alliance with America Online. (AOL). Kodak's 'You've Got Pictures' service, which uses digital imaging technology from Kodak PhotoNet online, will be available through more than 30,000 film drop-off locations nationwide. These retail locations will develop the film and scan and upload members' pictures directly to AOL via Kodak PhotoNet online, within 48 hours of drop-off. Take Pictures Further tm-Kodak's site accomplishes this and more.

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