I/PRO Adds Behavioral Audits

A new behavioral auditing service from I/PRO, based on 24/7 Real Media’s Insight XE analytics tool, will provide third-party reports on audience behavioral data.

I/PRO’s audit services target small and medium-sized Web publishers whose sites may not be represented in larger, panel-based media planning systems, such as those of Nielsen//NetRatings and comScore Media Metrix. The larger systems are generally limited to information on the top 50 sites.

“Our behavioral auditing service uses 24/7’s census-based data to create a fair representation of any site,” said Chris Butler, I/PRO’s COO. “This will allow media buyers to justify an ad spend on a site of any size.”

By identifying qualities of a site’s audience, I/PRO hopes to demonstrate that advertisers can find new opportunities for ad placements beyond content-based targeting. Instead of running a travel ad on a travel site, for example, an advertiser could run that same travel ad on a sports site with an audience that demonstrated an interest in travel.

Behavioral targeting provider Revenue Science teamed with Nielsen//NetRatings in October to certify its audience quality. The partners use segment-level audience composition metrics gathered from the Nielsen//NetRatings MegaPanel, which measures the online behavior of several hundred thousand individuals across the Web.

By providing third-party verification of audience composition, 24/7 Real Media hopes to build demand for its behaviorally targeted ad services, OnTarget, which it launched in March. It also hopes having a third party use its behavioral segments will help establish them as industry standards against those of competitors Tacoda and Revenue Science.

Industry watchers say standardization is a major hurdle that must be overcome before behavioral targeting can see significant growth.

I/PRO is using the same behavioral segments 24/7 Real Media uses in OnTarget. Audiences are defined by eight segments: travel, tech-savvy users, investors, women, health-specific audiences, online shoppers, gamers, and music lovers. Users are classified in a given segment based on a combination of behaviors, including pages visited, keywords searched, and products purchased.

I/PRO has audited Web sites since 1994. It launched a new initiative, Agencies for Interactive Audits (A4IA) in October, which provides incentives to publishers whose sites are audited. Over 500 Web sites and 25 agencies are active in the program.

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