Ask Jeeves Re-Jiggers Sales Operation

  |  October 18, 2004   |  Comments

AJinteractive brings together the advertising products and the sales forces from Ask Jeeves and the former Interactive Search Holdings properties.

Ask Jeeves today moved to consolidate its diverse advertising products by creating the AJinteractive division from parts of Ask Jeeves and former Interactive Search Holdings properties.

The new advertising products and sales division brings together the advertising products and the sales forces from Ask Jeeves and Interactive Search Holdings (ISH), which Ask Jeeves acquired in May 2004. ISH properties include MaxOnline, formed in 2002 from the combination of the DoubleClick and L90 ad networks; and the Excite, MyWay and iWon portals.

AJinteractive was formed to accommodate the larger suite of advertising products Ask Jeeves now offers as a result of the acquisition, and provide a single point of contact for advertising. It will be headed by Jim Diaz, SVP of AJinteractive, who previously served as SVP of sales and business development at Ask Jeeves.

"What it really did was create a solutions matrix," Diaz said. "If you think about this from the advertisers’ perspective -- which is really all that matters at the end of the day -- we have solutions that go across the whole spectrum of online advertising in each of these assets. It’s all about how to buy online more efficiently."

AJinteractive’s online advertising options span search, media, and direct marketing. Search products include Ask.com, MySearch, MyWebSearch, the search assets within the iWon portal, and more than 30 sites that syndicate AskJeeves ad products. Media offerings include the portals -- iWon and Excite, and the more than 700 sites in the MaxOnline ad network.

Several direct marketing products -- email, lead generation, search engine marketing and promotions -- are built around iWon, Diaz said. "iWon is loyalty portal. People are going there to win money, everybody registers to sign up for giveaways. They’ve created a whole suite of direct marketing products."

While some duplication in back office functions was eliminated, Diaz insisted that was not the driving force behind the move. "This isn’t about wringing out efficiencies. It’s really about trying to assemble and redistribute resources -- getting more feet out on the street, creating a better operations infrastructure. We’re actually investing in this division, and looking to grow over the next year or so," he said.

Instead of dealing with three different sales reps and several systems across Ask Jeeves’ sites, advertisers now have one point of contact for search, media and direct marketing advertising. It also creates a larger entity that Diaz hopes will warrant larger ad spends by big clients.

"We now have all these different assets to try to go out and solve advertiser needs across the full spectrum. Each of our properties by themselves didn’t warrant the kind of investment you’d need to make to be able to compete against Google and Yahoo Now that we’re a bigger entity, we have all this inventory we can pull together," he said.

AJinteractive is not creating new ad products, just making the existing ones more accessible, and more cost-effective to buy, according to Diaz.

"Today, we have an awful lot across those three channels. We have more than enough ad products to meet the goals and objective of any request for proposal. The trick really is not to roll out new ad products -- it’s to really invest in the ones that we have and make them more scalable, more efficient," he said.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kevin Newcomb

Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.

Before the bubble burst, Kevin was a marketing manager for an online computer reseller, handling copywriting, e-mail marketing, search marketing and running the affiliate program.

With a combination of real-world marketing experience and years of business journalism, Kevin brings to ClickZ a unique ability to deliver news and training materials that help online marketers do their jobs better.

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