The Schematic Approach

With so much data and so many channels serving it up, including the Internet, today's marketers have bundles of wayward digital ends to tie. That's where Los Angeles-based full-service interactive agency Schematic comes in - and excels.

"We accomplish this through a careful blend of in-house creative, technical, and marketing professionals, all of whom have the same goal in mind - to market to others as they would like to be marketed to," says Gregg Apirian, Schematic's executive vice president.

Schematic was an early digital-content pioneer. In 1999, the company created a system that let Turner store logos and collateral art in an easily accessed centralized source for its clients.

Schematic's program became the industry standard; similar versions now run at Sony, NBC, and other companies.

The ability to balance heavy technological lifting with creative flair has become Schematic's hallmark. The company integrated live Web game play for Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox in 2004, back when even simple Web gaming was no slam-dunk. It created interactive promotional commercials for the NFL that integrated team data into live Web content, one of the first such efforts in sports. And Schematic developed the logos, look, brand, and user interface for Starz Entertainment Group's Vongo, a movie download service launched in beta form in January.

More recently, Schematic took on a major brand challenge for retailer Target Corp. Target competes in a crowded retail market against titans Wal-Mart Stores, Sears, and Costco Wholesale. Despite the stiff competition, Target manages gross margins that are about 18 percent higher than the industry average, Reuters reports. Target can hold onto its fat margins, and avoid revenue-sapping price cuts, by convincing consumers its products are worth more. And marketing is what does the convincing.

To that end, Schematic worked with Target's in-house team to create in-store interactive content, such as video kiosks and in-store Internet promotions, that played on the retailer's successful red bull's-eye logo. Later, Schematic was instrumental in working with Target on its Web efforts and the store's "Health" channel, as well as Target's trend-watching "Up2d8" channel.

All of these marketing tentacles intertwine around Target's umbrella Web site. Alexa data suggest that the effort works: Target.com ranks around 200th of all sites on the Web for traffic.

This ability to interweave diverse marketing strands, including Web design and in-store digital marketing, endears Schematic to its clients.

"Schematic's mission is to improve the digital interfaces between companies and their customers," Apirian says. "That's really what we do."

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