DoubleClick takes standalone route for targeting tools

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DoubleClick this week begins marketing its targeting technology on a standalone basis, making it available to content sites unaffiliated with the DoubleClick Network.

As part of a new business model, New York-based DoubleClick will let any interested content property's advertisers take advantage of its targeting technology on a cost-per-thousand basis. The program, called DART (Dynamic Advertising Reporting and Targeting), is a dramatic departure from the one-stop solution for sales representation, targeting, creative testing and reporting the company has offered advertisers since its launch earlier this year.

But it's a move exec VP-Marketing and Programming Wenda Harris Millard said was necessary to help evolve the market for targeted marketing efforts online.


"DoubleClick is born of two mothers--media and technology," Ms. Millard said. As major media companies increasingly asked DoubleClick about using its technology--without its outside sales representation--the company began rethinking its core business. "The question became, `Should we cannibalize our own business, or let other people do it?' " she said.

With the advent of DART, DoubleClick CEO Kevin O'Connor said he expects non-sales rep services to account for 25% of DoubleClick business by the end of 1997. Eventually, he expects DART to account for 50% of company revenues. The main competitor, though an indirect one, is Palo Alto-based NetGravity, which licenses an ad-serving and management technology to big sites including Pathfinder.


Ms. Millard said rates to use DART, which vary based on the volume of banners distributed by DoubleClick, will probably hit the $4 CPM range for smaller buys (like 1,000 impressions) and the $3.50 CPM range for larger buys (like 5 million impressions). They will also vary according to the sophistication of targeting.

While she declined to name DART's first two clients, she said they're "major, major" media companies.

Claire Browne, director-media sales at SiteSpecific, New York, called DoubleClick's new model "a no-brainer."

Asked if she'd advise an advertiser to pay a higher CPM on a site using DoubleClick technology, she said, "Absolutely. If they can quantify results, I think it would add tremendous value to the media community."

Copyright December 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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