DoubleClick Teams Up With Donovan Data Systems

DoubleClick has mated its media buying technology to Donovan Data Systems’ (DDS) billing software in a marriage between a quintessential Internet company and one of the world’s most established “old economy” businesses.

The move is apparently aimed at easing traditional agencies’ transition into online media — which many believe is necessary for online spending levels to rise.

Media professionals can now orchestrate campaigns using MediaVisor, DoubleClick’s Web-based media and buying tool, and then transfer the plans into DDS’ PrintPak.

“MediaVisor allows the user to plan and research and buy media, and once that has been set up, it can be sent into the DART system to be served and executed. That information at any point along the way can now be transferred to DDS for billing and financial reconciliation,” said Doug Knopper, senior VP and general manager for online advertising at DoubleClick.

Knopper would not say what clients would be charged for the coordinated services.

Starcom IP, a worldwide media specialist company and client of both companies, worked closely with DoubleClick in the development process “to make sure it works to their satisfaction and spec’d out satisfactorily,” Knopper said.

The news comes on the heels of reports of steady progress for DoubleClick. The company recently reported its first full year of GAAP profitability. DoubleClick reinvented itself as a provider of technological advertising solutions to survive the dot-com downturn and the resulting crash in online advertising spending.

The move fills a need in the industry for an open-ended ad-server application that can export to a variety of databases, automatically resolve discrepancies, or import into the Donovan system.

Knopper said his company heard the need from its clients “loud and clear” to make the DAT ad services coordinate with the Donovan data system. “It’s one more way of helping the online agencies streamline and manage their advertising flow,” he said.

“In the last year we have seen one barrier to online advertising after another fall,” said Jim Nail, principal analyst with Forrester Research. “Marketers didn’t do it because they found banners unexciting, and now we have units they are interested in. They objected because ‘we don’t know if it works or not,’ and then research was presented to show that it works.

“They said it was too hard to put ads online, there needs to be a way of streamlining the grunt work of placing an order, checking and reconciling it. Rolling it into a system liked Donovan, which all the agencies use, is exactly the right move,” said Nail.

The partnership strengthens DoubleClick’s position, Nail said.

“Having this kind of partnership with Donovan, which is embedded into the systems, the DNA of agencies, gives them another way to reinforce the positioning they have as being one of the central companies in the digital marketing space,” Nail said.

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