InternetUniversity: DoubleClick Diameter

Shortly after DoubleClick completed its acquisition of @plan.inc, in February of this year, the company launched a new research division, Diameter. Combining web traffic tracking and analysis tools with the firm’s already extensive online advertising presence, DoubleClick plans to give advertisers targeted research that will substantially increase their ROI. Here’s how they are going to do it.

By acquiring @plan.inc DoubleClick has inherited a powerful statistical analysis tool—@plan Advertising. @plan Advertising allows advertisers to strategically plan campaigns using specific predefined or customized markets. Advertisers can then “cross tab” their target audience with any other market in the @plan system. The system can even take an advertiser’s target audience and spill back usage patterns on specific websites for that audience.

For example, you could find the percentage of men 18-25 who are married and use the Internet. Making this your target audience, you could find the percentage that searched the web using Google versus Yahoo. Combining this functionality with an RFP editing tool and a database of advertising rates and contact names makes @plan Advertising a complete advertising solution. Or does it?

With all this analytical power in hand, DoubleClick needed to find the data to analyze. Enter netScore, an Internet tracking tool that uses comScore Networks’ 1.5 million opt-in members and follows them all over the Internet. The netScore service represents a step forward in accuracy of traffic measurement by addressing the issues that have prevented existing Internet ratings services from supplying data that matches sites’ own server logs: namely inadequate sample sizes and inadequate representation of all key consumer segments. What does this mean?

All servers keep logs that track the IP addresses or computer IDs that connect to it via the Internet. If knowing which computers, or in effect, people go to a specific site is helpful to an advertiser, then knowing where they came from and where they went next is life-saving. netScore is able to do this successfully without raising any privacy issues through their opt-in user base.

netScore also provides demographic information on its user base that includes Age of Head of Household (HOH), household income, household size, education level of HOH, and geography. Furthermore, netScore rates its top 1,000 sites with a Buying Power Index (BPI). To develop a BPI for a particular site’s visitors, netScore records a site’s visitors over a period of time, captures all of those visitors’ online transactions across the entire Internet to determine a site’s overall buying power, and finally compares the site’s visitor buying power to that of the average Internet user.

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