Tacoda Systems Launches Behavioral Ad Product

    May 6, 2004

Tacoda Systems is currently testing a method of behavioral ad targeting that combines Google AdWords-style targeting and profile-based advertising. The service, which is being tested by four unnamed publications, is called Audience Match.

Audience Match will give advertisers the ability to target text ads based on specific demographics. The service is similar to Google and Overture’s PPC campaign, but instead of bidding for keywords, advertisers will compete for specific demographic information. The text ads will then show up on sites that have partnered with Tacoda Systems.

This style of advertising is called behavioral targeting. To accomplish this, Audience Match uses profiles of Web surfers who have account-type standing with Tacoda’s group of online publishing partners. The information in these profiles are then used to target ads, which will perform like AdSense. Meaning the advertisers only pay when their ad is clicked.

Audience Match will be built on Tacoda’s Audience Management System. This system was designed to give advertisers more insight into their customers so they can better target their ads. The new service will be an extension of AMS.

The issue of privacy has reared its head in concern with Tacoda’s method of behavior targeting. The company acquires this data by, according to News.com, “draw[ing] from data-mining technology, tracking software such as cookies and Web site registration information.”

Tacoda has stated that they will not be releasing public information to advertisers, only the demographics that the profiles fit into. These demographics are what is being bid upon.

Gary Stein, an analyst at Jupiter Research, had this to say about behavioral marketing: “Behavioral advertising is definitely the ‘it’ thing this year, and advertisers are looking for a fast, easy and inexpensive way to do it.” Look for Tacoda to be in thick of it.

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