Horsham, PA-based VerticalNet Inc.
is launching a $750,000 Internet-only advertising campaign to build traffic
to its sites.
VerticalNet said it has arranged with search engines such as Yahoo!, Excite,
Lycos and MetaCrawler to “buy” keywords. When users who want specific
information about an industry type in these keywords, a banner advertisement
for VerticalNet’s industry-specific Web sites appears and users can go there
VerticalNet has a family of 15 industry-specific Web sites in the
environmental, utility, process and electronics industries.
The company’s oldest Web site, Water Online is also its
biggest, attracting nearly 100,000 visitors a month. At Water Online and
other VerticalNet sites, suppliers to the specific industries buy
“storefronts”–essentially, an advertising section owned by the supplier.
Visitors can see the latest news about their industry, drawn from a variety
of newswires and editorial services, and can visit online directories of
products and suppliers to locate needed information.
“Our business model is based on building communities of customers, vendors
and experts in the industries we serve,” said Mike Hagan, vice president for
operations at VerticalNet, and one of the company’s founders. The banners
were created by VerticalNet’s own staff of Web designers and programmers.