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AIM Proximity Launches Live Internet Survey Tool

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AIM Proximity Launches Live Internet Survey Tool, 'Closer by Proximity', Enabling Instant Dialogue Between Customers and Marketers

NZ developed software deployed worldwide

AUCKLAND, 7 August, 2002 - AIM Proximity, New Zealand's leading direct and interactive marketing agency, today launched Closer by Proximity, a unique online customer dialogue tool that empowers marketing professionals to create live online surveys from the desktop, without requiring in-depth database, research or HTML skills. Closer by Proximity was developed by AIM Proximity in eighteen months and will now be deployed internationally through the Proximity network of companies.

"Closer by Proximity is set to transform the relationship between a company and its clients, enabling them to get closer in a way that has never been practically possible in the past," say Geoff Cooper, AIM Proximity's Director of Database Services. "Until now, the significant barriers of time and cost have impeded the flow of valuable information. We developed Closer by Proximity in response to the critical need to gain information quickly from consumers within a cost-effective structure.

"There will always be a place for traditional market research techniques such as focus groups and surveys. However, most companies find these costly to use for on-going dialogue with customers and staff. It is also difficult to gain instant responses to urgent questions using these techniques. Closer by Proximity fills these important gaps."

In New Zealand, the Closer by Proximity service will be provided by AIM Proximity directly to its clients and will also be sold through market research companies, distributors and systems integrators. "The service is based on a fixed monthly fee with no limit to the number of surveys available to companies, making Closer by Proximity extremely flexible and cost-effective," adds Cooper. "In addition, it is hosted in a secure environment in Auckland with 24 hour, 7 day, local back up and service."

International Rollout

Closer by Proximity will be made available to the worldwide network of Proximity companies under licence from AIM Proximity. Considerable interest has already been received from a number of countries including Australia, the UK and Belgium.

Simon Hall, London-based CEO of the global Proximity network considers Closer by Proximity a world-class online customer dialogue and survey tool. "While other tools exist on the Internet, most require software to be downloaded. What has impressed us about Closer by Proximity is the live web-based service which provides marketers with instant control and results. Furthermore, it is an easy graphical way for customers to respond."

Angela Day, AIM Proximity's Director of Analytics and Research, said that clients have responded enthusiastically to Closer by Proximity, excited by the considerable value it will add to their businesses. "We have clients that will use Closer by Proximity to meet a variety of needs, including training through interactive quizzes, managing HR performance data such as 360o feedback, creating on-line registration and order forms, as well as the more obvious uses in customer research."

Strengths Of Closer by Proximity

Data into business intelligence

Closer by Proximity captures instant responses from research online removing the barriers to a full and meaningful dialogue with customers and staff. It empowers marketers by feeding these responses back into their business processes, giving immediate results to stakeholders, CEOs, Boards and clients.

Rapid and customised question templates

Closer by Proximity's structure allows companies to create surveys quickly in response to a particular need such as product development and testing, competitive analysis or measuring customer satisfaction.

Furthermore, Closer by Proximity displays information in a rich visual way. Marketers can customise the look and feel of the survey around corporate branding or subject content, as well company-specific standards and procedures. Closer by Proximity enables each company to create their own specific survey templates with a library of contents and standard questions. These can be used time and time again, requiring minimal training by marketers.

Animated graphical interface

Answers from respondents are captured in an instant and engaging manner through Closer by Proximity's unique graphical interviewing interface. User-friendly animated graphical question types include an animated face with a slider, which changes visually from smile to frown, as well as a 'thumbometer' and a set of scales, demonstrating the response in non-numeric manners.

Flexibility

Closer by Proximity enables marketers to create research briefs detailing questions and answers for research undertaken in the off-line world. Data import and export routines using the same point and click interface allow research results to be easily integrated. Another unique feature is 'Skip Logic', which can automatically bypass certain parts of each survey depending on the response.

Data warehouse and processing engine

The data warehouse structure enables instant, accurate and focused primary data to be integrated with other information captured through a company's normal business processes.

The analysis structures of Closer by Proximity remain invisible to end-users, as do the methods used to calculate the new measures. The analytical processing engine transforms raw data with error free, on-the-spot data processing. Its survey creator interacts with a series of reports that summarise and tabulate responses. As the information supplied by each respondent is automatically added to the survey database, Closer by Proximity eliminates costs associated with the data entry errors of traditional survey methods.

Competitive Benchmarking

Closer by Proximity identifies benchmarks for evaluating company performance to provide a true picture of the competitive marketplace, ultimately providing strategic direction for the company's marketing activities.

About AIM Proximity

Established in 1988, AIM Proximity is New Zealand's largest direct and interactive marketing agency, with 85 employees working from offices in Auckland and Wellington. The company also has three offices in Australia, located in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. AIM Proximity joined the worldwide Proximity group of companies in 2000.

Combining proven direct marketing leadership with award winning database and new interactive media, AIM Proximity offers a complete range of solutions to bring brands closer to customers.

AIM Proximity is the direct marketing agency of several major corporations in the New Zealand market, including Telecom, Bank of New Zealand, Toyota, Air New Zealand, Sky City and Royal Sun Alliance.

In addition to the 2002 AdMedia/Sunday Star Times Agency of the Year Award, AIM Proximity has won numerous accolades in the last decade. These include the ground breaking success at the 2001 New Zealand Direct Marketing Awards when it became the first agency to pick up both major prizes, the RSVP Grand Prix and the Supreme NEXUS. In addition, the company has achieved consistent success overseas, gaining recognition at the prestigious US-based International Echo Awards and the Marketing Direct Awards in Britain.

About the worldwide Proximity network

One of the largest groups of direct marketing agencies in the world, Proximity is present in 35 countries, with 2,200 employees and billings of US$1.2 billion.

Proximity is a new generation Customer Relationship Management (CRM) network which marries direct marketing with database, CRM and interactive media to create and nurture brand relationships. Created for the new media environment, Proximity eclipses traditional direct marketing by fusing together all of these principles.

The Proximity network prides itself on its creative leadership. The network has won more international awards than any of its competitors over the last two years with 33 ECHO Awards and 9 Caples Awards in Europe alone.

The network has significant local strengths. In 2001, nine Proximity agencies won 'Agency of the Year' Awards in their respective markets. These include: 1. AIM Proximity, New Zealand 2. Palla Koblinger Proximity, Austria 3. Proximity Prague, Czech Republic 4. Sepia Proximity, Denmark 5. Proximity BBDO, France 6. CP Proximity, Portugal 7. CP Comunicacion Proximity, Spain 8. Proximity London, UK 9. CP Comunicacion Proximity, Argentina

The network is growing rapidly around the world. In the last 12 months new offices were opened in: Croatia Proximity Zagreb Dubai & Saudi Arabia Impact Proximity Finland Proximity BBDO Greece Proximity zzdot Romania Proximity Bucharest Ukraine Proximity Ukraine

Further information about AIM Proximity and Proximity Worldwide can be found respectively at www.aimproximity.co.nz http://www.aimproximity.co.nz and http://www.proximityworldwide.com

MEDIA CONTACTS

Nicholas O'Flaherty, Director, Bullet PR Limited, Tel: +64 21 303-181 E-mail: nicholaso@bulletpr.co.nz

ENDS


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