MatchLogic Unveils New Offering

Online ad server and marketing technology firm MatchLogic Monday took the wraps off its new ad serving service and technology — which it said fills a space in the middle of its product line.

The company already offers its MAPS solution, which basically gives clients everything they need to run an online ad campaign themselves — including serving, reporting, optimization and sales.

On the other end of the spectrum is MatchLogic’s Account Management service — in which the Westminster, Colo.-based firm handles everything except sales.

Now, the firm’s new Client Drive product aims to bridge the gap between complete in-house control of an ad campaign, and total outsourcing.

“We created MatchLogic Client Drive to respond to market need,” said Jon Skinner, senior vice president and general manager for MatchLogic’s acquisition marketing division. “Our clients wanted greater flexibility and control over strategic aspects of ad management, such as campaign set-up, reporting, and analysis, but didn’t want to dedicate internal resources to labor intensive campaign tactics.”

“With the addition of MatchLogic Client Drive, we have the ability to provide the campaign control and user-defined reporting capabilities necessary to help ensure customers the best possible return on their advertising investment,” Skinner added.

Essentially, the service allows clients to control reporting and optimization themselves, while letting MatchLogic handle the “dirty work” of back-end technology and ad serving — ideally letting clients focus on improving online advertising performance results versus managing campaign execution tactics.

“Client Drive fits right in the middle — half and half,” said Greg Neal, MatchLogic’s senior director of ad services. Clients “can go in and put all their information in, and we’ll call the sites and do all the tactical parts of the campaign,” he said.

The news is good for the ad serving company, which is owned by Excite@Home, since it broadens its product line in a time when technology licensing is one of the most valuable areas online advertising.

Indeed, industry leader DoubleClick takes in a majority of its revenues through its TechSolutions unit, and competing firms like Engage and 24/7 Media are working to beef up their own offerings. And arguably, these latter two are now feeling the pinch financially due to a heavy reliance on the media portions of their businesses, rather than technology, in the past.

By aiming to shore up its product line, and by appealing to a market that seeks a middle level of campaign control, MatchLogic potentially becomes even more important to its corporate parent — which last week divested rich media ad firm Enliven in an effort to cut costs.

“We’re listening to customers giving us feedback. And they’re fine-tuning how they want to work with companies. It’s a dynamic market, so you see the market changing and some companies going ahead and using [MAPS] to manage entire processes,” Neal said.

“Other customers don’t want that much information — they want to be able to get in and do tactical parts of the campaign and optimize that — and then there are clients who say ‘look, we want you guys to do everything’,” he added. “We see people in each of the different market segments. In talking to both advertisers and agencies, they’re starting to say ‘look, this is how we want to work with you.'”

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