AudienceScience: What's In a Name?

  |  May 6, 2009   |  Comments

Revenue Science changes its name, raising the question: will its services change?

One of the realities apparent to anybody who has worked in new media for awhile is that within a fairly short time things can change very dramatically. Not only do the technologies online marketers use to reach consumers change rapidly, but the business models companies put in place don't often meet set marketing goals a few years down the road.

While interactive marketing, behavioral targeting, search, video, and scores of new technologies are being put into place every day in an effort to more effectively communicate with consumers, there are no hard-and-fast rules. Some companies find amazing market traction with their ideas, while others fade away over time, often leaving behind only an understanding of what doesn't work.

Great ideas are important to any businesses success, but perhaps equally important is how well a company communicates the solutions they offer and how their products and services benefit their target consumers.

The veterans at behavioral targeting company Revenue Science made a decision a few months ago to break away from their old identity in favor of a new one. While it seems very risky to change the name of any company that already has great market success, a new name often does a better job at branding the benefits the company offers the marketplace and gives a better indication of what it does.

As a result, AudienceScience has emerged as a seemingly new player in the world of online behavioral targeting. But it brings with it an established foundation of technology, an understanding of the ad-serving and behavioral targeting markets, and the wisdom that comes with having built a strong behavioral targeting business from the ground up.

To better understand the motivation behind AudienceScience�s recent moniker update, I spent a little time with my friend Marla Schimke, AudienceScience�s vice president of marketing.

Rob Graham: Marla, it seems that things have been going very well for the company during the past few years. What prompted the name change for a company already well known in this industry?

Marla Schmike: As you're already aware, online advertising as an industry is continuously evolving and behavioral targeting as a discipline has changed pretty dramatically over the past few years. The methodologies that we can use to reach online consumers are more diverse and scalable than ever before. When we talk about reaching the right audience with the right message at the right time, we need to think about the tools that we will be offering in the future that unlock the true marketing power of the Internet. As Revenue Science we evolved along with the different disciplines. However, that name did not effectively convey our core value proposition anymore -- which is that we help publishers and advertisers to find target audiences. Our new name communicates that mission.

RG: Did you feel that there was a risk in changing the name, even if it offered a more concise description of what the company did?

MS: We worked with analysts, customers, and our board of directors to get their feedback before making the decision on the new name. For us, 2007 and 2008 were turning points for display advertising and behavioral targeting, and we felt it was time to align our company's name with our vision. The feedback that we�ve gotten from our current clients has been very positive, and several have offered that it makes them feel positive and excited about the future.

The bottom line for AudienceScience is that we will still be offering our current level of behavioral targeting expertise and consumers; publishers and advertisers can still expect the same industry-leading targeting technology and advertising marketplace that we've always offered.

RG: So what does the future hold for AudienceScience?

MS: We are excited about some new partnerships that we have on the horizon, and we are also working very closely with the NAI and IAB to ensure that consumers are properly informed when it comes to [behavioral targeting] online. It is very important that people understand that in most cases, online advertising is keeping the Internet free. In order to keep the Internet free, people are going to get online ads. With [behavioral targeting], you get an ad that is interesting to you, thereby improving your online experience.

RG: Please keep me updated so I can share any new events with my readers.

MS: It will be my pleasure!

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Rob Graham

Rob Graham is the CCT (chief creative technologist) of Trainingcraft, Inc., where he heads up development of customized training programs for a wide range of digital marketing, entrepreneurial development, and digital media clients.

A 20 year veteran of digital media, Rob has served as the CEO of a multimedia development company; an interactive media strategist; a rich media production specialist; a Web analytics consultant; a corporate trainer and seminar leader; and a chief marketing officer.

When he isn't on the road presenting training workshops, Rob teaches at Harvard University, Emerson College, and the University of Massachusetts - Lowell where he teaches classes on Digital Media Development, Web Store Creation, Software Programming, Business Strategies, and Interactive Marketing Best Practices.

He is the author of "Fishing From a Barrel," a guide to using audience targeting in online advertising, and "Advertising Interactively," which explores the development and uses of rich-media-based advertising. He has been an industry columnist covering interactive marketing, digital media, and audience targeting topics since 1999.

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