To meet the needs of technology advertisers that are demanding better ROI, publishers are launching programs that feature new ad formats, exclusive sponsorship opportunities, integration and better measurement services.
Next month, CNET Networks will launch a new ad program called Enterprise Launch, which will feature 6-second full-page "intromercials" based on Eyeblaster technology that will appear when a user begins a session on CNET.
"There is a growing level of interest in using the Internet to create demand for products," said Greg Mason, exec VP-sales and marketing at CNET Networks.
CNET will sell the ads on a unique user basis, in which advertisers pay only for those ads that are delivered to users. It is a guaranteed cost-per-impression model, Mason said.
Because the program has not yet been announced, CNET has not yet signed up any advertisers.
Mason said it is designed for advertisers that want to make a big impact with a company launch, product launch or other splashy news.
CMP Media is also looking at ways to offer tech advertisers deeper content and integration opportunities.
Jeff Patterson, exec VP-corporate sales and marketing at CMP Media, said technology advertisers are looking for ways to tell more complex stories to their target audiences this year. To do so, they are using multiple platforms including print, online, events and research.
They are also using custom publishing to differentiate themselves from the competition, Patterson said. Last year, CMPâs custom publishing business doubled from the previous year.
CMP is also launching new titles to reach tech segments. Last month, it launched SmallBizPipeline.com and ITUtilityPipeline.com, two new titles in its Pipeline series of online publications to reach vertical markets.
Publishers are also providing more measurement capabilities to tech advertisers. "It is harder to get someone to sign off on the bigger spends, so we are providing ever increasingly better targeting capabilities," said Randy Kilgore, VP-advertising at the Wall Street Journal Online.
Last year, the Journal incorporated behavioral profile information offered by Revenue Science into its reporting capabilities, giving advertisers the ability to target demographic audiences such as senior executives based on their onsite behavior.
Also, the Wall Street Journal Online and The Wall Street Journal print edition last year combined reporting on print and online audiences, using the Audit Bureau of Circulations to audit the data.
"The tech category is incredibly important to the Journal," said Michael Wilson, VP-global advertising sales for The Wall Street Journal. "In the last few years, it has been the largest category due to the decline in financial advertising sectors." Now, with the recovery in the financial markets, technology and financial are "neck and neck," he added.
Increased spending, targeting
James Donoghue, VP-market development at The Wall Street Journal, said the Journal expects to see an increase in tech spending over the next six months, based on conversations with advertisers and research reports.
For the online edition, tech spending started picking up last year and is expected to continue this year, Kilgore said.
"HP, IBM, Microsoft, Intel and Oracle were all spending up [toward the end of last year]," Kilgore said. "Those are the market-leader accounts. Everyone else sees them stepping up and wants to increase spending, too."
The Journal rewards companies that advertise in both print and online, offering a credit of up to 30% that can be used for print or online buys.
Greg Strakosch, co-founder and CEO of TechTarget, also said spending is up this year.
"Budgets are up in general, and online spending is way up," he said.
"The big guys are looking for custom programs," Strakosch said, adding that the largest tech advertisersâsuch as Microsoft Corp., Cisco Systems, Intel Corp. and EMC Corp.âare looking for exclusive sponsorships on Web sites, microsites and TechTarget InfoCenters, which provide content-specific areas of information.
Midsize advertisers want integrated programs that drive leads and ROI, he added. These include white paper downloads, e-mail newsletters, banners, list rentals and Webcasts, Strakosch said.