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May 30, 2000
Interview Direct Sales Still Rule in B-to-B

SUMMARY: No summary available.
Launched in September 1999, – owned by Arrow Pharmacy and Nutrition Centers – provides online pharmacy capabilities to healthcare companies and Internet merchants. “The crux of our B-to-B marketing is that we provide e-pharmacies that our partners can brand themselves,” says senior VP of sales and marketing, Rees Pinney.

TARGET MARKET:’s primary market for e-pharmacy storefronts are managed care providers. The company also provides pharmaceutical back-end support to online retailers, which tap’s e-commerce infrastructure to process and fulfill orders, as in a recently announced co-branded online pharmacy for Ames Department Stores.

DIRECT SALES: “This part is very direct-sales oriented, so we have our feet on the street a lot,” says Pinney. And the time-investment needed to sign up new channel partners is unpredictable, he adds. “We’ve had closes that took two calls, and others that I started last November –- we’re still working out the details.”

TRADE SHOWS: “We’ve been very successful at trade shows, both as presenters, as well as exhibitors,” says Pinney. “Industry events have been good for finding managed care partnerships and for business development, like finding other Internet-oriented companies to work with.”

NOTE: Pinney points out that success with consumers helps the company’s B-to-B efforts because potential channel partners look for relationships that can help win retail customers. “You need to drive your metrics to be taken seriously as a Web site,” he says. “But most of all, you have to drive sales.” That’s why the company also deploys substantial B-to-C banner campaigns and opt-in email marketing with service firm Outrider. “You can’t beat online marketing for driving metrics,” Pinney tells us.
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