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HotWired goes for the gold

HotWired has implemented a system that lets advertisers target ads directly at Fortune 1000 companies instead of the Net masses.

HotWired Network, the interactive publishing arm of Wired magazine, is selling ads on its Web sites targeted at surfers from Fortune 1000 companies.

Newspage, a personalized subscription news service offered by Individual, was the first advertiser to sign up for the new program on HotBot, the Web search engine HotWired owns with Inktomi.

"The Web offers a unique ability to segment the audience demographically and psychographically, and we're thrilled that HotWired is leveraging this capability to better serve their advertising customers," said Ulrica Strachan, circulation manager for NewsPage.

Strachan is particularly pleased with segmenting audiences psychographically, which means that she can target audiences based on lifestyle preferences. "This offers an unprecedented opportunity for us to target the audience we think will be most receptive to our promotions," Strachan said.

Adam Schoenfeld, vice president of Jupiter Communications, expects the Fortune 1000 targeting to be widely copied. "This is a very important development, but even this just scratches the surface of the targeted advertising and marketing the Web provides," said Schoenfeld, whose research estimates that online advertising will hit $5.3 billion by the year 2000. "I expect an avalanche of similar Web buys."

HotWired's targeted rate for advertisers is 4 cents per user who sees an ad banner. That's cheaper than the 5-cent-per-impression rate for buying a keyword for searches--ads shown to anyone who does a search on sex, for example--but pricier than the 2 cents per impression for ads without any targeting.

Like other Web sites, HotWired had previously allowed advertisers to target visitors by domain name, such as those ending in .com or .edu.

For the Fortune 1000 targeting service, HotWired has created a database that stores domain names for Fortune 1000 firms. The data bank includes several thousand addresses because big companies frequently have multiple URLs.

"We're working on developing a lot of other lists," said Peter Naylor, HotWired ad manager for the East Coast. Future targeting lists will include technology, Wall Street, and pharmaceutical firms.

HotWired today also opened a new Web site called Web Monkey, which it describes as an "all-service tuneup station." The free site offers Web-authoring tutorials, analyses of browsers and plug-ins, a weekly demonstration of new Web techniques, and an advice column called "Geek Talk."

Other sites on the HotWired Network include Ask Dr. Weil, Dream Jobs, The Netizen, Pop, and Suck.

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