Focalink and DoubleClick debut new technologies

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Startups offer Web marketers auditing tools, ability to trace users' domains

Marketing on the Web is getting smarter.

Focalink Communications, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup, is introducing SmartBanner, a technology that provides centralized media planning services and post-buy analysis to marketers on the Internet.

Separately, Poppe Tyson's fledgling DoubleClick Web ad rep firm is acquiring Internet Advertising Network, an Atlanta company that tracks advertising reach and frequency across a broad network of Web sites.


Today, most Web sites serve up ad banners themselves. Focalink proposes to serve clients' banners itself. That way, the company can help marketers target different ads to site visitors depending on the domain of the visitor's server--government, commercial, education, etc.

"In essence, we centralize traffic control for Web media plans," said Focalink President Ron Kovas.


"Focalink is one of the few new companies that understands how agencies work with their clients in planning and buying media," said Mark Thomas, VP-media research manager at Riney, San Francisco. "From aggregated reports we can tell which icons did well at which sites, which hours and using which creative approach."


Like its Internet brethren Yahoo Corp. and Internet Profiles Corp., Focalink was born at Stanford University.

The idea came out of a business school project from David Zinman, now VP-sales and marketing, and Jason Strober, now VP-business development.

DoubleClick, meanwhile, is building a network of sites on which marketers can buy ads. The company represents more than 20 sites now and expects to have 100 to 150 on its roster by April 1, said Fergus O'Daly, chairman-CEO of Poppe Tyson.


David Carlick will shift from general manager of Poppe Tyson's Web development arm in Mountain View, Calif., to oversee New York-based DoubleClick, which is being spun off as a new company.

Internet Advertising Network will help link sites and track how users react to ads across the network. Similar to Focalink, marketers will have the ability to trace users by domain.

"If it does what they say it does, it's going to be a quantum leap forward," said John Nardone, director of media and research services at Modem Media, Westport, Conn, which will test the software. "Very, very quickly you're going to start seeing competing networks of sites."

Copyright February 1996 Crain Communications Inc.

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