BuzzLogic Buys App Firm to Improve Conversational Ad Targeting

BuzzLogic will acquire app developer Activeweave to bolster its ad targeting capabilities. The social media tracking and ad firm also is in the preliminary stages of building out an ad network.

Activeweave’s flagship product, BlogRovR, is an application for Firefox that continuously updates links to stories based on a user’s preferences and the content he browses. The data flowing through that system allows BlogRovR to identify opinion leaders and levels of engagement with particular topics or posts. It’s that information BuzzLogic wants access to through the acquisition.

The goal is to pair data gleaned through BlogRovR with information BuzzLogic currently collects to determine connections between popular blogs. It plans to leverage those connections to target display and text ads.

“Now we can aggregate an understanding of how consumers are swarming around the Internet,” said BuzzLogic CEO Rob Crumpler, who explained why the firm chose to purchase Activeweave rather than simply partnering. “The level of integration we’ll be doing with their technology really requires that we make the acquisition,” he said. “It will help us move forward faster.”

Most ad networks link up Web sites based on the type of content covered, and most targeting technologies aim ads according to what users are viewing or recently viewed online. BuzzLogic’s Conversation Targeting takes a different approach. The system follows conversations and determines which blogs and bloggers are most influential based on the number of people linking to them, and ranks them accordingly.

For instance, when retailer Nordstrom wanted to promote a new line of apparel designed by Pete Wentz of pop punk band Fall Out Boy, the platform tracked down blogs featuring posts about the bassist or his girlfriend, pop singer Ashlee Simpson, and ran display ads on those sites.

The company introduced the system in beta about five months ago.

BuzzLogic worked directly with Nordstrom on the campaign, according to Crumpler, who said the firm is building its direct ad sales team.

“We’re essentially predicting the paths of where consumers will travel based on connections they’re having from post to post to post,” he continued.

Thus far, the company has gone through ad networks, mainly Google and AdBrite, to locate and purchase ad inventory on sites identified as influential. Now, rather than deriving media only via other networks, BuzzLogic wants to create its own network.

“We’re in the early, early stage of recruiting some of those influencers for our network,” explained Crumpler.

Activeweave’s two primary execs will stay on with the new owner. Jean Sini will remain in his current CTO role at BuzzLogic, and Activeweave CEO Marc Meyer will become VP of products for the new parent.

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