Vertical Engine Lures IT Marketers

  |  April 22, 2005   |  Comments

Quietly launched two weeks ago, IT.com targets enterprise technology decision makers.

A new vertical search engine targeting enterprise technology buyers has quietly launched at IT.com.

The beta search destination, now in its second week of operation, is supported by two models: CPM-based sponsorship and pay-per-click listings. Its founders, including the former CTO of OgilvyInteractive, aim to make it a resource for people in need of guidance on tech purchase decisions.

The company has secured several major tech advertisers as launch sponsors, including Qwest, Nortel, SBC, Intel and Microsoft.

"We have a very good sampling of the most serious IT vendors in the world who have trusted us with their name and have spent effort and money to participate in the site," said John Balestrieri, COO of IT.com. Balestrieri was CTO at OgilvyInteractive before starting work on the new site.

Sales of IT.com's PPC links are managed through a bidding platform similar to what the major engines use, and they appear alongside organic results in the same manner.

Category sponsorships, meanwhile, will initially be sold at a $10 to $15 CPM. The launch sponsors are in a special charter program, for which billing terms were not disclosed.

For the sponsorships, IT.com offers additional detailed reporting and unmediated editing of creative. "We capture every query, we capture every post-query action. We create, on the fly, a real-time marketing survey, which is presented to the sponsor," said Balestrieri.

On the bid-for-placement front, executives claim the engine is quicker to demote poor-performing links than its horizontal search counterparts. Bidding on brand names owned by rivals is forbidden.

"We demote more quickly and more severely. What we really don't want to happen is for advertisers to try to do on our site what they do habitually in some e-commerce situations on Google or other sites," said Balestrieri. "What we've learned from our end users is they care a lot about relevancy. Our users don't want bait and switch."

Results pages only include links to tech vendor pages, which IT.com crawls using its own proprietary technology. The organic part of the search equation has been in development for a year and a half.

IT.com's distribution strategy is a combination of standalone search and syndication deals, through which its search box would appear on tech-oriented content sites. Executives said they are in talks now with several potential partners.

Vertical search has been flagged as a key growth driver for the search marketing business. Most of the attention has been focused on consumer categories like retail and travel, but many SEM experts are watching the B2B implications as well.

"If you take a look at spending on B2B versus B2C, there appears to be a huge upside to business-to-business. They are attacking a portion of the market that has a lot of [potential]," said Joshua Stylman, co-founders and managing partners of SEM firm Reprise Media, when shown the engine.

ClickZ Live San Francisco Revolutionize your digital marketing campaigns at ClickZ Live San Francisco (August 10-12)!
Educating marketers for over 15 years, our action-packed, educationally-focused agenda offers 9 tracks to cover every aspect of digital marketing. Join over 500 digital marketers and expert speakers from leading brands. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zachary Rodgers

Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects. 

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

US Consumer Device Preference Report

US Consumer Device Preference Report
Traditionally desktops have shown to convert better than mobile devices however, 2015 might be a tipping point for mobile conversions! Download this report to find why mobile users are more important then ever.

E-Commerce Customer Lifecycle

E-Commerce Customer Lifecycle
Have you ever wondered what factors influence online spending or why shoppers abandon their cart? This data-rich infogram offers actionable insight into creating a more seamless online shopping experience across the multiple devices consumers are using.

WEBINARS

Resources

Jobs

  • Sr. Marketing Specialist, PPC
    Sr. Marketing Specialist, PPC (Charter Communications) - StamfordSr. Marketing Specialist, PPC– Digital Marketing Charter Communications...