MarketMatch Planner is the first installment in a series of products aimed at agency media buyers and planners. The software allows agencies to access and share media campaign data through password-protected Web access.
The other two include Campaign Manager, for trafficking, reporting and post-buy analysis, which will launch in August, and Administrator, scheduled for launch by yearend, which integrates Web ad-buy data and performance analysis with agencies' existing accounting and billing systems.
Focusing on the buy side, MarketMatch Planner features an online worksheet that helps media planners schedule and budget for online buys, as well as the ability to view and download data supporting media buys with third-party demographic studies and Web user purchasing patterns.
COMPARING RATES PROBLEMATIC
The ability to compare and contrast advertising rates across the Web has been problematic, mainly due to the vast number and variety of available sites. AdKnowledge hopes to automate the Web advertising process, from pre-buy analysis and planning to execution and analysis. The annual subscription license is $7,900.
Another media-buying product is Internet Profiles Corp.'s Dispatch, which launched in January. Dispatch, for which I/PRO gets a percentage of billings for the media buy, has signed up eight agencies.
"Buying media on the Web is very cumbersome," said John Mracek, VP-marketing at AdKnowledge. "There is a lack of data for decision support."
By consolidating media information in one database, MarketMatch Planner streamlines research and planning for more than 1,100 top Web properties.
It also helps with the selection of ad placements. It integrates third-party data, including audience demographics from MediaMetrix and NetRatings; psychographic data from SRI Consulting; Web site ratings and descriptions from NetGuide; and Web traffic audit data from BPA Interactive.
In addition, subscribers to Mediamark Research or Simmons Market Research Bureau's syndicated market research can access the data on the MarketMatch Planner Web site at www.market
match.com to complete a pre-buy analysis online.
FILLING A NEED
"MarketMatch Planner definitely does things that media planners need today," said Jim Nail, senior analyst at Forrester Research.
"It takes a couple of steps toward being a real time-saving tool. It's not a complete one-stop seamless solution, but it does make the process a little bit easier than without it," Mr. Nail said.
David Smith, president of San Francisco ad agency Mediasmith, agrees.
His agency has been using both MarketMatch Planner and I/PRO Dispatch, but Mr. Smith finds that he still needs to combine several products in order to meet his clients' needs.
"MarketMatch Planner is more of a front-end planning product. [I/PRO's] Dispatch is more of a back-end tracking product," Mr. Smith said.
"Nobody has a complete solution. What we're really doing is patching together MarketMatch, our system and Dispatch to provide a complete system for ourselves and our clients," he said.
Online agencies Ammirati Puris Lintas, Western International Media and Thunder House were among I/PRO's initial clients for Dispatch. More than 70 agencies are currently using MarketMatch Planner, including BBDO Worldwide,i-traffic, McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Mediasmith, Modem Media . Poppe Tyson, Organic and Y&R Advertising.