[X+1] Brings Optimization to Japan

[X+1], the marketing optimization company formerly known as Poindexter Systems, has teamed with Hakuhodo subsidiary spicebox to offer its media optimization platform in Japan.

The Tokyo-based interactive agency will sell Progressive Optimization Engine (POE) platform to its clients in Southeast Asia. POE collects anonymous consumer data to let advertisers segment audiences in real-time, so advertisers can serve the most effective ad to each user. The platform also identifies patterns between users in each segment and their response behavior, continuously updating the segments.

The technology has similarities with behavioral targeting, which can tell advertisers if someone may be in the market for a product based on past behavior. According to CEO Toby Gabriner, [x+1] goes beyond behavioral targeting by providing demographic and psychographic data about users, which can help an advertiser tell the difference between someone who may be in the market for a product, and someone who fits the advertiser’s ideal customer profile.

Spicebox has been testing POE since February, and will begin offering it as a full service in June. According to Gabriner, spicebox clients such as Vodafone K.K. saw 30 percent effective returns on some campaigns during the testing period.

In the U.S., [x+1] uses POE to deliver two kinds of optimization: an online media targeting and delivery solution called media+1, and a Web site optimization product called site+1. Once the media targeting solution gains a foothold in Japan, the company expects to offer its site-side product to spicebox clients, said Paul Mason, director of media operations.

In the U.S., [x+1] is targeting the “low-hanging fruit” of direct marketers, who are more apt to understand the value of targeting, Gabriner said, though the company is working with brand advertisers, as well. U.S. clients include AOL, Match.com, and MyFamily.com, as well as several companies in the financial services, telecom, and travel verticals.

Optimization is a growing space, with the number of offerings keeping pace with growing demand from advertisers and publishers. Last month saw new entries from DoubleClick and Kefta joining a host of optimization offerings from Web analytics vendors and specialists like Offermatica.

Several factors are coming together to drive advertiser interest in optimization, Gabriner said. Included among those are increased attention on digital media from large advertisers, and growing sophistication of advertisers demanding better performance from their campaigns.

“Online conversion is still relatively low at less than 2 percent,” Gabriner said. “There’s a real opportunity in the online arena to use anonymous data to target an audience, and only reach the people you’re trying to reach.”

Gabriner left Carat Fusion at the end of 2005 to join the company, which completed its transition from an ad-serving to an optimization platform and rebranded as a mathematical formula last month.

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