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Mediaplex: Making Online Advertising Work

As seen by the recent destruction of market cap, investors seem to think online advertising is a lost cause. Yet, the fact remains that the Web is an incredible medium for one-to-one marketing. And a company that has been at the forefront of cutting-edge technologies in this space is Mediaplex .

The technology is called, interesting enough, MOJO (which stands for mobile Java objects architecture). Basically, it allows for real-time targeted advertising - regardless of the platform. In fact, it is the only technology that enables advertising messages to be changed based on an advertiser's latest business information, such as inventory pricing, site content and customer data. Of course, the goal is to maximize the return on investment (ROI) for advertising expenditures.

With MOJO, Mediaplex has created a comprehensive suite of messaging technologies. For example, there is URL Matching. With this, an advertiser can serve ads that are targeted not only by site but also by the content within any given site. This is of tremendous help for context-specific campaigns.

Another service is called Queued Creative. This makes it easier for creating schedules for time-sensitive information (say, for Christmas). There is also Multiple Messaging. With this, a banner ad can have offers for two separate products with different URL destinations.

Moreover, the company recently announced its MOJO Mail product. Opt-in e-mail marketing has proved to be very successful. But with MOJO, these types of campaigns will have much more effectiveness, as the content will be dynamically linked to a company's internal databases in real-time.

Like all other online advertising companies, Mediaplex has seen its top line suffer. Revenues hit $13.5 million in the most recent quarter, which was up from $6.6 million in the same period a year ago. However, it was off from the $18.6 million in the second quarter of 2000.

Net losses were $5.3 million. Yet, the company has enough cash to get itself to profitability. There is $65 million in the bank.

Over the long-term, the types of tools that Mediaplex offers should be in demand. After all, in the new Darwinian environment, there should be increased scrutiny on ROI and measurability.