Mediaplex Launches Optimization Tool

Wagering that its established reputation as an ad server will help it gain footing in a new field, Mediaplex on Monday took the wraps off its new advertising optimization product, MOJO Optimizer. The San Francisco-based firm, which is in the process of being acquired by ad network ValueClick, said MOJO Optimizer is designed to automatically update individual banner ad frequency based on real-time campaign performance. For instance, if a particular creative isn’t receiving as many click-throughs as another, MOJO Optimizer will switch that ad out in favor of a better-performing piece. As a result, the product is intended to help advertisers better their results by delivering ads that have the most effect.

“Because advertisers have to spend their advertising dollars smartly and more effectively, having a tool like this is key to improving costs of conversion or whatever their key metrics are,” said Andy Torgerson, who is vice president of product management at Mediaplex. “I can get better use of my dollar not just knowing how my ads are effective, but in how creative can be changed based on these optimization exercises.”

The push to make online advertising work better through optimization isn’t new in concept: the entire process is similar to the traditional direct marketing’s practice of “tweaking” mailings creatives, delivery schedules and audiences to achieve the highest return on investment. But the effort is seeing new interest from clients and technology firms, as marketers seek better ROI from their online ad dollars, and the Web ad industry seeks ways to appease those needs.

Accordingly, Mediaplex’s new offering enters a field already rife with entrenched rivals. For one, Advertising.com has long been touting its own AdLearn technology, which uses a proprietary algorithm to deliver ads. Meanwhile, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based startup Paramark is rapidly gaining ground with its own ad optimization engine, PILOT.

Paramark, however, focuses on providing purely ad optimization technology, while Mediaplex and Baltimore-based Advertising.com both market ad serving engines as well — Advertising.com offers its ACE Serve solution, while Mediaplex is well-known for its Mobile Java Objects (MOJO) line of products.

And like Advertising.com, Mediaplex is banking that offering a complete ad serving and optimization solution will prove the most lucrative — for instance, campaigns are served via Mediaplex’s MOJO Adserver, ads optimized by MOJO Optimizer, and results are detailed by Mediaplex’s tracking and reporting system, MOJO Reports.

“What continues to drive Mediaplex’ success is MOJO’s single platform technology,” said Mediaplex president and chief executive Tom Vadnais. “Once a marketer or advertiser is serving ads from the MOJO platform, the deployment of MOJO Optimizer is a turn-key process.”

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