Revenue Science declined to release any information about how the so-called "engaged investors" of WSJ.com compare to readers of other financial publications. Other advertising executives say that without such information, the knowledge that some WSJ.com subscribers are more likely to visit certain categories of Web sites probably is of limited use to marketers.
"I don't want to compare the Wall Street Journal to the general Web," said Alan Schanzer, managing partner at Mediaedge:cia's The Digital Edge. "For me to make that information useful . . . I'd have to look at the Wall Street Journal versus Forbes.com versus MarketWatch." (Dow Jones owns both MarketWatch and WSJ.com, but the data released by Revenue Science refers specifically to WSJ.com paid subscribers.)
David Morgan, CEO of behavioral targeting company Tacoda Systems, a Revenue Science rival, added that marketers that advertise to a specialized audience already assume that group differs from the general consumer. "The critical information there is how are the engaged investors on the Wall Street Journal.com compared to the people that are on the Forbes.com investment page," he said. "If you're an online trading site, you already know you want to be on a financial site."
He added that most advertisers don't question him about how visitors to a specialized site compare to the general Web population. "They tend to ask much harder questions," Morgan said.
Revenue Science, which provides behavioral targeting services for Dow Jones, compiled the information about WSJ.com "engaged investors" in conjunction with Nielsen//NetRatings. First, Revenue Science identified WSJ.com readers who were particularly interested in investing by looking at how often they visited certain sections of the WSJ.com site and how long they remained on the sites. A portion of that group also belonged to a Nielsen//NetRatings panel, meaning that Nielsen tracked their activity throughout the Web.
When Nielsen//NetRatings compared the WSJ.com "engaged investor" subset to the general population, it found that the WSJ.com's engaged investors were 240 percent more likely to visit online trading sites; 150 percent more interested in financial-news and information sites; more than 100 percent more likely to visit airline and hotel sites; more than 100 percent more likely to visit news sites for computer and consumer-electronics news; and 75 percent more likely to visit car sites.