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Adknowledge has taken the industry mantra and turned it into a product pitch. It's return on investment, as in its ROI Advisor, which is designed to make such key calculations simple.

"You just log on our system and it's ready to go," says John Mrazek, VP-general manager of advertising solutions for the Palo Alto, Calif., company.

ROI Advisor is designed to help advertisers track "what's going on beyond the click, to see the ultimate result," Mr. Mrazek explains. "In many cases a click-through rate isn't an accurate predictor of conversion," usually meaning a sale.

ROI Advisor provides information to advertisers to let them switch from ads that just get clicked on to ads that actually yield sales.


But for Sarah Fay, exec VP-managing director at Carat Freeman, Newton, Mass., it's the thought behind ROI Advisor that counts.

"We like the fact they're considering what we're considering to optimize campaigns," she says.

Ms. Fay also likes the way AdKnowledge is integrating Millward Brown Interactive's Voyager technology into the software, offering syndicated research alongside its straight serving model.

Proving ROI is also key for Terry Young, interactive management supervisor at Custom Production Services, an Irving, Texas, unit of True North Communications, which counts the U.S. Air Force, American Airlines and Subaru of America among its clients.

Mr. Young says ROI means different things to different clients. The Air Force counts recruitment lead forms. Subaru counts hits at its dealer search page. "American Air might look at their travel planning tool or the page with a specific fare mentioned in the banner," he says. AdKnowledge tags target pages, which the server counts and adds to Mr. Young's reports.


Once target pages were identified, implementing this post-click analysis took AdKnowledge just a week, Mr. Young says. "This gives us an ROI we can compare to that of other media."

Thomas Hespos, media director for K2 Design, New York, says the tags will provide information to his clients, who will use their own databases to analyze it.

"Our clients want to know exactly what the advertising is getting them, and this solution gives them information they need," he adds. "We have costs associated with maintaining our database and don't want to be in the software development business."

Brian Monahan, associate media director for Left Field, a San Francisco Web ad shop, uses AdKnowledge for all his serving. He relies on it to enable pull-downs, search-enabled banners and other rich media.


Click-through rates continue to deteriorate and putting technology inside the banners can raise those rates, at least in the short term. Pull-downs can also prequalify a click, says Mr. Monahan, collecting data on prospects before they're pitched.

Peter Brine, director of online marketing at eToys, Santa Monica, Calif., has worked with AdKnowledge since last summer, and counts on customer service as much as technology. "I have a contact at AdKnowledge that's on my speed dial and I know she's always there" to quickly answer questions.

By using a single server for all ads, he says, he gets a single report on all sites on which he advertises.

And since the system is database-driven, Mr. Brine doesn't have to constantly

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