NetZero Creates Market Research Division

Free Internet provider NetZero Inc. Thursday formed a new online market research division.

Dubbed CyberTarget, NetZero (NZRO) tapped 21-year-old AC Nielsen, Inc. (ART) executive Robert “Rusty” Taragan to manage its new venture.

Prior to joining NetZero, Taragan acted as general manager of Nielsen Media Research’s Local Services division. Taragan helped Nielsen through a reorganization that culminated in its spin-off as a publicly traded company.

Mark Goldston, NetZero chairman and chief executive officer said the company picked the right man to manage its consumer research division.

“Under Rusty’s leadership, we intend to break new ground by redefining one-to-one marketing, tapping the Internet to engage in valuable consumer studies, and elevating market research to a new level,” Goldston said.

The company plans to structure CyberTarget to conduct mass-scale online market research. NetZero’s research division will be tasked with providing advertisers, marketers and market research firms with aggregated, non-personal information regarding consumer’s online preferences.

NetZero users will be asked to voice their opinions about products and services that are relevant to them. NetZero’s proprietary zCast technology will be put to work collecting information on users’ Web surfing and click-through patterns.

Goldston said NetZero’s proprietary technology, state-of-the-art infrastructure and 3 million member user base is uniquely positioned to create customized research services of value to marketers and advertisers.

Taragan said CyberTarget would be a valuable tool for online researchers.

“We believe we will be able to offer marketers extremely valuable tools to help them better understand their audience,” Taragan said. “Through CyberTarget we can provide demographic, psychographic and geographic data on all of our users who visit specific sites, and survey those users with specific research questions.”

Taragan added that the research provided to marketers would be anonymous and the privacy of NetZero’s user base would never compromised without a user’s permission.

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