Shopping site Shopzilla hires CMO
Shopper’s Web site Shopzilla named a new marketing executive to increase brand awareness among consumers, according to the company
Rysa Pitner joins Los Angeles-based Shopzilla as its new chief marketing officer. Pitner oversees business operations, consumer site operations, content marketing and operations, marketing communications, corporate communications and research for Shopzilla’s U.S. and European-based sites, which are located in the United Kingdom, Germany and France.
Pitner brings more than 15 years of experience in business development, marketing, design and publishing, as well as U.S. and European management expertise.
Previously, Pitner served as executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Synapse Group, Inc., a subsidiary of Time, Inc. During her tenure, Pitner led new business development, creative services production, marketing and corporate communications. Pitner was also president of the company’s Internet Division, SynapseConnect, where she restructured and reintroduced the company’s online business, led the development of proprietary technology and implemented new cross media marketing methods.
Prior to Synapse, Pitner worked in the London office for AGA Catalog Marketing & Design to support direct sales efforts for Marks and Spencer, Europe’s largest clothing and furnishings retailer.
Owned by media giant E.W. Scripps Company’s interactive division, Shopzilla sells 30 million products from more than 92,000 stores using its online search engine ShopRank. The company also operates BizRate a Web-based consumer feedback network. The interactive division includes Shopzilla’s United Kingdom sister company uSwitch, a utilities and financial services comparison-shopping service. Scripps owns cable networks HGTV and the Food Network as well as newspapers and broadcast televisions stations.
Pitner will focus on making the Shopzilla
brand a more formidable segment in the $2.5 billion Scripps conglomerate.
In 2006, the interactive division accounted for a little more than 10 percent of the company’s revenue, contributing about $271 million. Meanwhile, Scripps Networks pulled in $1.1 billion, newspaper revenue totaled $716 million and broadcast stations totaled $365 million.
For its fourth quarter, Scripps interactive division saw revenue fall 8.7 percent to $62.9 million, largely due to the 2006 purchase of uSwitch. The company does not break out sales figures for Shopzilla and uSwitch.
“With online shopping expected to nearly double in the next four years, it is vital to have someone of Rysa’s caliber join us at this juncture in the company's evolution,” President Bill Glass said in a statement. “Her charter is to elevate Shopzilla from a leadership position within its category to a household brand.”
Glass was promoted from chief operating officer to CEO in February with the mission to bring stable growth and long-term profitability to the venture (DailyVista
According to The List Database, Los Angeles-based Rogers & Cowan came aboard as Shopzilla’s public relations firm this year. The company has no creative agency relationships.
According to Nielson Media-Plus, Shopzilla spent approximately $1.8 million on advertising in 2006. The company spent about $660,000 on cable television, $360,000 on outdoor and $360,000 on spot TV
Approach Pitner soon with pitches to that will propel Shopzilla to be the top Web shopping site. Propose more effective buzz marketing and viral programs that extol the benefits of Shopzilla’s powerful search engines. Agencies with European capabilities may have the advantage.
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