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How much will you pay for cookies?

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More and more marketers are looking at ways to learn more about their audience, and then to tailor content to the individual visitors to their Web sites. One of the technologies that can make this possible is cookies.

This month, NetMarketing's Web Price Index looks at the costs of adding cookies to our hypothetical company's sites.

Cookies were developed to allow the Web server to cull certain information from the user's Web browser. The server can then write that information to a user's computer and retrieve it the next time the user comes to that site.

Some ad-tracking companies such as DoubleClick use cookies to follow a user through a site or a series of sites so they don't deliver the same banners repeatedly to that user. If a site allows users to register, that information can be stored in a cookie as well.

In the ACME Sprockets example, a cookie is being used to create a rudimentary example of targeted content. If a person is visiting its site for the first time, he or she will receive a different home page than a return visitor would. A simple application of cookies like this one would cost the marketer a median of $2,250, according to this month's survey of agencies and Web developers.

COMBINE SURVEY, COOKIES

Another way to get some good demographic information about your Web audience is to combine a survey with cookies. In the Investments R Us example this month, users are asked to fill out a form to register for the site.

Once they are registered they are rewarded with content that they wouldn't have access to as unregistered visitors. An application like this could create some solid leads for its burgeoning Info Tapes business, and would cost a median of $13,000.

Blockmonster plans an ambitious project to target its content to individual users and their musical tastes in an effort to drive sales and educate consumers. A project of this size would cost a median of $42,500.

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