DoubleClick: Desktop Data Modeling on Deck for 2003

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NEW YORK -- Among the offerings DoubleClick has in store for competitors and marketers this year are "push button modeling," a paid search marketing tool akin to DART for Advertisers, and a rich media solution, executives told analysts in a briefing yesterday.


Push button modeling "will do for [data] modeling what campaign management [solutions] did for database marketing," said Court Cunningham, senior vice president of technology solutions for DoubleClick, New York. "It will take it out of [information technology's] hands and put it on marketers' desktops."


The feature is expected to be included in Ensemble 6.5 to be released in November. Ensemble is DoubleClick's campaign management solution, which debuted at the National Center for Database Marketing Winter 2002 Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, FL in December.


The new feature will enable marketers who don't have a background in statistics to identify predictive variables in their prospecting and house file campaigns, Cunningham said. Also, whereas IT departments usually take from four to six weeks to turn data modeling projects around, push button modeling will allow marketers to turn such projects around in hours, he said.


The paid listings tool, also scheduled to be released in the second half of 2003, will help online marketers manage and track their paid-search keyword marketing campaigns similarly to the way Dart for Advertisers allows marketers to manage online advertising campaigns, according to DoubleClick. It will allow marketers to optimize paid search campaigns, in which online marketers bid for positioning in the sponsored results sections of search engines like Yahoo, on a conversion basis rather than on a click-through basis, Cunningham said.


DoubleClick also says it has struck a deal with software firm Macromedia to offer a rich media advertising creation and delivery solution.


Twenty-five percent of ads served through DoubleClick's system are rich media, and 80 percent of those are Flash based, according to DoubleClick.


Also, "rich media response rates are five timed those of non-rich media ads," said DoubleClick President David Rosenblatt.


DoubleClick's rich media tool is expected to debut in May or June, executives said.


In other news, DoubleClick executives told analysts that its Abacus division plans to focus on expansion into international marketers in 2003, in particular the UK where it already has a business, and in Japan. Abacus also will focus on its business-to-business co-operative database this year. The company claims to have identified 1,300 U.S. firms with business-to-business catalog operations, which are prospects for Abacus.


Brian Rainey, senior vice president of data at DoubleClick, said Abacus' potential in the BTB market is as large as in the consumer market where it has transactional data from 1,800 sources on almost every household in the U.S.


The BTB segment holds particular promise for Abacus, Rainey said. BTB marketers aren't used to prospecting using lists that include transactional behavior because many of them are hesitant to put their housefiles on the market, he said.


"We have many [BTB] clients who are comfortable giving their lists to us who are not comfortable putting their lists on the open market," Rainey said. He added that so far, Abacus' BTB database has a strong client base in the office supplies and imprinted promotional products or "specialty advertising" market.


On the e-mail service provider front, DoubleClick has seen the competitive landscape trim to generally three companies besides itself: Digital Impact, CheetahMail, and Bigfoot Interactive, Cunningham said.


DoubleClick expects its e-mail business to grow from 10 percent to 12 percent this year.


In the long run, wireless and interactive television are "areas that we would absolutely look at" for expansion, said Kevin Ryan, DoubleClick's chief executive officer. "I think between the two, interactive television is more promising; advertisers are excited about it, but it's still small."


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