QMGN Enters the Toolbar Arena

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QMGN is expected to announce this week the availability of its q toolbar, a software device designed to make using the Internet faster and easier for consumers and more effective for advertisers.

QMGN, New York, is entering a space full of competitors, but Bob DeSena, chief operating officer at QMGN, feels his product is superior. "We can help you to get better results, execute your creative better and we can do it inside an interface that is always adding value to the user's experience," he said.

The q is a toolbar that sits on the consumer's desktop while he is online or offline. The main feature for consumers is its ability to store HTML links and audio and video files. If a user sees something of interest, such as an article, he can drag and drop the link to the site into the toolbar. The user can go back later to view the document, even if he has terminated his Internet connection. This technology is called elective caching.

The toolbar also serves banners on a targeted basis using Engage Inc.'s anonymous profiling technology. The q's progressive profiling takes into account the user's actions. For example, if a user regularly looks at sport utility vehicles, "we can provide marketers with the option to click on an ad to go to the General Motors Web site or to go to a rich media product demo," DeSena said.

Desktop toolbars are common. America Online's Instant Messenger program has added a desktop news ticker. And United Airlines announced earlier this month that it will launch a customized toolbar powered by Dash, New York.

Smaller companies have gotten into the act as well. Earlier this year, CouponSurfer.com added its CouponButler promotional toolbar technology. And BigHourglass.com launched its Hourbar, a downloadable toolbar that serves banner ads to consumers while also offering hourly prizes.

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