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A wired approach to marketing


© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 30, 2001

As mall owners wrestle with how the Internet can help their properties, International Plaza has come up with a new twist.

After the new mall opens Sept. 14 in Tampa, its Web site ( will offer a customized e-mail service alerting customers to sales and special offers at the stores of their choice.

"You cannot expect people to keep checking your Web site over and over," said Nina Polm, plaza marketing director for Taubman Centers Inc.

It's been tried by a few malls elsewhere. But stores have to update their information, and few take the time. International Plaza hired a full-time staffer to seek out news of sales, new products and events for each store that can be e-mailed to customers who sign up for the service.

"The sites I've seen are updated monthly and frequently out of date," Polm said. "We will have fresh information weekly."

The Web site also will offer e-mail reminders of birthdays and anniversaries. To register, shoppers must provide some personal information, which Taubman promises not to sell.

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