OwnerIQ Capitalizes on Intelligence about Users

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guide business users buying IT equipment to whitepapers, webcasts, and product information, all the while serving up related advertising sold at premium rates.

One company testing OwnerIQ’s consumer-based lead generation model is Electrolux, which is advertising its Eureka vacuum cleaners on the OwnerIQ home appliances site. Habegger says the campaign has been a “very successful demonstration,” with click-through rates for the Eureka ads in the neighborhood of two to three percent—far higher than the average for Web display ads. The response rate for ads in OwnerIQ’s opt-in e-mail newsletters is also very high, Habegger says.

And in a further twist, the company plans to extend its ownership-targeted advertising model to other parts of the Web. Once OwnerIQ knows that you have a Jenn-Air, for example, it can use that information to buy ads for specific kitchen-appliance brands from established Internet advertising networks and show you those ads even when you’re browsing other sites. Information identifying you as somebody who browsed manuals for expensive refrigerators is stored in cookies on your computer and tracked behind the scenes by the advertising networks. Lest you panic about the privacy implications, this sort of “behavioral targeting” is already common—OwnerIQ’s ads are just more targeted than most. (To use Habegger’s example, “If you read a New York Times story about organic food growers in Florida, the next site you go to might show you an orange juice ad.”)

In effect, OwnerIQ is growing into what Habegger calls an “ownership-targeted advertising network,” capitalizing on the information it gathers about the material possessions of the more than 700,000 people who visit its sites every month.

A local ad-agency exec who joined OwnerIQ’s board of directors this week—Lisa Badeau, executive vice president at Boston’s Hill Holiday—will doubtless help to strengthen that focus. “OwnerIQ’s ownership-targeted media programs provide advertisers with an unprecedented opportunity to precisely target likely purchasers,” Badeau said in a company press release about the move. “The team has done a great job working with its clients to develop highly customized and effective media programs, and I look forward to supporting OwnerIQ’s continued success.”

Even if it weren’t growing into an advertising network, OwnerIQ’s treasure trove of user manuals would be likely to keep drawing more users to its own sites. In fact, with almost every product manual you could ever need now available online, it doesn’t seem so important anymore to keep track of the paperwork that comes with your purchases. Maybe it’s really time to cull my files.

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Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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2 responses to “OwnerIQ Capitalizes on Intelligence about Users”

  1. Someone says:

    I dont know where you got your stats from, but OwnerIQ does not get 700,000 unique visitors per month. The figure is more like 25,000 visitors.

    Is this a stat the company provided?

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