Tacoda Network Zooms into B2B

In a continuing effort to build out the B2B sites in its behavioral ad network, Tacoda is bringing business search site ZoomInfo into the fold. Starting Monday, ads from network advertisers will appear on the ZoomInfo site, targeted based on users’ searches as well as their behavior across Tacoda’s network of 3,500 sites. This will mark the first time display ads will run on the search site.

“It’s an interesting way for us to continue to learn more about our audience,” explained ZoomInfo VP of Product and Marketing Russell Glass. Initially, the site will enable Tacoda-targeted ads to run throughout about half of its inventory, according to Glass, who said the site attracts about five million unique visitors per month on average. He anticipates opening up all inventory to Tacoda ads shortly. Until now, the site has run only Google AdSense ads targeted based on search keywords.

ZoomInfo aggregates information about business professionals and companies from across the Web, allowing people to search the site by name for specific people and firms. In addition to refining ad targeting on its own site, information on ZoomInfo users will be added to the mix of data gleaned on other Tacoda network sites to serve ads throughout the network.

This site addition supplements Tacoda’s current roster of business-related sites and, according to the company’s SVP of Marketing Larry Allen, “introduces a lot of the occupation-oriented or professional folks into the network from an audience perspective.” In its network, the firm also counts OSTG (Open Source Technology Group) Web sites which include Linux.com and Slashdot.org, along with legal, medical and business sites from Dutch business publisher Wolters Kluwer, among its B2B sites.

Other search-related sites featured in the network are About.com, search engine Snap, yellow pages site QuickSeek, and research search engines Highbeam Research and Answers.com.

ZoomInfo’s audience is comprised mainly of white collar professionals aged 25-40 who visit the site to locate information on colleagues, recruit employees and research companies. Glass expects a lot of the advertising served by Tacoda on the site to be of the conquesting variety. For instance, if an entrepreneur searches for a business partner to help him build software drivers, and that same person visited a trade publication site to read about a particular vendor, a competitor of that trade magazine may want to target ads to that user in the network.

Both Glass and Allen pointed to the travel category as one that typically targets the business set. Rental car companies and technology firms are also a good fit, said Allen. Up until now, he noted, Tacoda has only inferred what type of profession or role a user is in; however, the searches conducted on ZoomInfo could help to identify such information with more assurance.

According to Glass, the most popular industry categories visitors search for on the site are Medical Devices and Equipment, Software, Drug Manufacturing and Research, Advertising and Marketing, and Insurance.

Tacoda’s new site add-on may help establish new audience segments correlated with specific professions. A pharmaceutical advertiser might want to target only doctors with a particular expertise, for example. Still, Allen cautioned that millions of people need to be present in order for a new standard audience category to be created.

All Tacoda-targeted ads are sold on a CPM basis, with prices ranging anywhere from $3 to $6 for ads targeted to a general category, to an average of $16 or $17 for ads delivered to a more refined segment. According to Allen, some auto ads can go as high as $25.

In addition to the Tacoda deal, AOL now includes ZoomInfo search in the business edition of its instant messaging application, AIM Pro.

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