CLOSE-UP: CLIENT OF THE WEEK - QXL marketer lifts the stakes/Alex Czajkowaski plans to extend the site beyond the internet, Jade Garrett says

Alex Czajkowaski, the marketing director at the online auction site QXL, describes himself as an ’evangelical cyber-marketer’ - one who is ’technically savvy and market astute’. He expects nothing less from his agency partners.

Alex Czajkowaski, the marketing director at the online auction site

QXL, describes himself as an ’evangelical cyber-marketer’ - one who is

’technically savvy and market astute’. He expects nothing less from his

agency partners.



Czajkowaski is the man behind QXL’s appointment of Leo Burnett to its

pounds 5 million advertising account (Campaign, last week), and he will

be making some steep demands of the agency over the next 12 months.



’There is no part of the business I’m not interested in hearing Leo

Burnett’s opinion on,’ he says. ’I don’t want the agency to look round

at the end of it all and say ’well, we did good advertising but you

failed because of this, this and this’. My attitude is, if there is a

weak spot, tell me about it and we’ll fix it.’



Driving new visitors to the site and getting the brand name famous are

two obvious priorities but, Czajkowaski believes Burnetts’ real

challenge will be ’going beyond the dotcom online auction thing’.



The agency will also have the responsibility of taking the brand on to

national TV for the first time in this country.



QXL’s reach for February this year was 5.7 per cent, which amounts to

more than half a million individual visitors to the site for that

month.



But Czajkowaski wants Burnetts to help take the reach to a figure

similar to that of the internet search engine Yahoo! (it has six million

visitors).



After spearheading the company’s acquisition of a majority stake in the

Swedish net auctioneer Bidlet and an exclusive partnership with TescoNet

(the supermarket’s internet service provider), Czajkowaski is keen to

move QXL into other sectors.



Interactive TV, wireless application protocol and telephone-based

communications, as well as other offline partnerships, are all areas

where the QXL brand might be exploited now that Burnetts is on

board.



Czajkowaski describes Burnetts as ’massively proactive’ and says that he

was concerned whether the agency would be as good, once appointed, as it

appeared to be in the pitch. After 17 years in marketing and

communications, he’s developed an ability to spot bullshit when he hears

it.



’Burnetts’ selling process prior to the pitch was great and I had to ask

whether that would persist once they had the business.’



He’s convinced that it will. When asked for his opinion of Nick Brien,

the agency chief executive, and Nick Bell, the joint creative director,

who formed part of the pitch team, Czajkowaski says: ’I hired them - is

there a better compliment?’



Canadian-born Czajkowaski has spent the past two years at QXL . His

background is a mixture of technical development and advertising. He

worked at several big software development companies across the US,

including PowerCerv and Software Directions, and for some smaller

advertising and design companies.



He also ran his own advertising and marketing communications agency,

Alex Organisation, for three years before selling out to a larger

outfit.



At QXL he seems to have found his true home - one where he can satisfy

his ’insatiable curiosity’ for e-commerce.