Leveraging the Long Tail

The Internet has revolutionized direct-response advertising through the so-called lower funnel of Internet search, but the upper funnel of branded display advertising remains incredibly inefficient from a tracking perspective, especially when advertisers attempt to target the Web’s “long-tail” sites not featured on comScore or Nielsen.

San Francisco-based Quantcast’s new “Audience Search” technology enables advertisers to use highly granularized segmentation to match their brand and product ad placements to the optimal Web site, no matter how small or “niche” it may be. The service collects data about sites of all types to generate demographic profiles, including criteria such as age, gender, sex, income, and ethnicity.

Data comes from various third-party sources and directly from thousands of smaller sites, which can install a measurement pixel from Quantcast to profile their audiences. Quantcast then ranks sites based on analysis of billions of Web site visits each month. Using the system data, advertisers can create custom networks of sites that fit their demographic target. In addition, Quantcast will soon be launching an interface through which advertisers can directly purchase ad space on long-tail sites and groups of sites.