Developed over three years at a cost of more than $1 million, the Smart Select technology uses hundreds of proprietary attributes to scan and rank Cox sites allowing advertisers to customize ads according to campaign objectives. The Cox network spans 6000 specialty content sites and 2,000 local sites.
The social component of the system helps advertisers target the most socially influential sites in the network. The audience selection piece determines the demographic makeup of users, and the third element evaluates the relevance of a site in a given category.
Cox Digital Solutions was formed earlier this year through the merger of Cox Cross Media and Adify, the vertical ad network Cox Enterprises acquired in 2008. That move was aimed at reducing redundancy and offering more integrated online ad services. The Adify name has since been phased out.
Ani Vemprala, director of audience development at Cox Digital, said Smart Select would give advertisers more options to refine and expand their media selection and boost the effectiveness of campaigns on the Cox network boasting 130 million monthly visitors. The company did not name any initial advertisers using the new targeting technology. Parent Cox Enterprises operates newspapers, 15 TV stations, nearly 90 radio stations, AutoTrader.com. and Valpak.