Less is More: Tacoda Debuts Bare-Bones Version

Tacoda Systems, which enables publishers to target ads to audiences based on their demographics and online activities, is offering a low-cost starter version of its Audience Management System (AMS) with basic behavioral targeting.

Most of the company’s current clients, such as About.com, USAToday.com, Forbes.com, Weather.com and iVillage, are major publishers with page views of between 100 million and one and a half billion per month. The new service offering, AMS Target, is designed for smaller publishers (10 million to 75 million page views per month).

“We had a lot of publishers that wanted a place to begin and were intimidated by a full audience management suite. Also, now that audience management and behavioral targeting are becoming mainstream in the market, we needed to offer a simpler, lighter product,” said David Morgan, CEO of Tacoda.

The average price point of the full suite of services is $15,000 to $20,000 a month, generally with a two-year contract, according to Morgan. This product will cost in the $5,000 to $7,000 range, also with a two-year contract. Morgan said the company is already in negotiations with a new client expected to sign up next week.

AMS Target can help publishers predict buying behavior by tracking where visitors go and what they do on a site. For example, a user who visits the employment area of the classified advertising section of an online newspaper might well be receptive to ads from employment agencies — even if he is no longer in the employment section. Visitors to the automotive area could be targets for an auto ad.

The new product does not include the full AMS suite’s offline data integration. The full product can integrate data such as subscription information, research profiles, and census data with site visit information.

A Web-based application, AMS Target does not have to be installed on the client’s servers. It includes ten preconfigured audience segments specific to the buyer’s line of business with reports on the segments to track results. It also identifies and targets members of predefined high-value audience segments in real time.

Tacoda’s competitors in the behavioral targeting space include AlmondNet and Revenue Science, which counts among its clients MarketWatch.com and the Wall Street Journal’s Web site.

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