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  1. Technology
October 6, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Excite Inc subsidiary MatchLogic Inc has lifted the veil on its TrueSelect technology, designed to match anonymous internet user profiles with advertising material exactly tailored to their interests. TrueSelect joins TrueCount and TruEffect in the MatchLogic arsenal of web ad tracking tools.

The bottom line is marketers are spending a lot of money which is just being thrown down the hole, explains director of advanced targeting Steve Willett. By subscribing to the TrueSelect service, marketers should be able to focus their ad spend on the right audience. Marketers can make conditional buys, Willett explains. When we recognize an appropriate individual we can pop up a daughter window. Properly set up and managed, daughter windows can be very engaging.

TrueSelect is based on self-reported user information, and Willett admits that this means spending a lot of time correcting for the natural biases of self-reporters. People always say they are younger and richer than they really are, he observes. MatchLogic then strips out all identifying information. I don’t need to know who they are to know what they like, Willett explains. The service assigns each user a cookie and tracks the subsequent clickstream.

Based on the resulting profile, TrueSelect offers Fortune 100 marketers four levels of targeting: basic geography; demographics; keywords entered into any one of Excite’s search engine properties, including NetCenter and WebCrawler; and the killer – the ‘intender’, or internet user at the point of making a big-ticket purchase.

Willett says it’s not technology that makes TrueSelect valuable to his customers, but statistical knowledge, experience and the sheer size of the 35 million profile sample. One or two or three observations of a person’s behavior is statistically meaningless, he says. You might as well flip some coins. Willett has his eye on the $268m spent annually on advertising in all media. We’re making the net real enough to justify shifting existing ad dollars onto the web, he concludes.

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