Mattel applying TLC to Web site

Mattel applying TLC to Web site

Interactive software developer and vendor The Learning Company (TLC) has its parent company, Mattel, moving in on its proven e-commerce infrastructure in the US to leverage sales of its own well-established brands.

The marketing lines between electronic and traditional educational material, toys and games is blurring.

When Mattel launches a new online superstore in the fourth calendar quarter, officials expect to expand an online customer database from 25 million to 40 million customers.

Mattel, which acquired TLC in May this year, will take its online sales of HotWheels and Barbie brands to the TLC site, accounting for the increase which applies to TLC's existing database, company officials said.

Keeping track of the expanded customer communications and customer data will be a difficult task on its own. However, in a new twist, Mattel officials also plan to use the data to send customised e-mail and Web pages to new and existing customers, according to Peter Woodman, director of database marketing at TLC in the US.

"We can launch one-to-one personalised campaigns" through e-mail and on-the-fly changes to the Web site that use information about visitors from prior buying history or data gathered at the site, Woodman said.

Apparently, TLC plans the innovation for Mattel using a new Web-based marketing automation product called from a company called Prime - estimates on its cost range from $US400,000 to $1 million.

"We think the personalisation and the one-to-one marketing in the e-mail and online campaigns will make a big incremental return on investment," Woodman said of TLC's customer relationship management initiative.

"These tools are really designed for companies to use the information they have on customers and pros- pects to provide opportunities to upsell and cross-sell," said Steve Bonadio, an analyst at Hurwitz Group.

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