ZDNet Re-launches With New Ad Options

CNET Networks announced the re-launch of its enterprise-technology site ZDNet on Tuesday, adding some new marketing wrinkles.

The most significant new marketing option on the site, called “PowerCenter,” is a tab that appears prominently on pages throughout the ZDNet site. The tab, which is labeled as sponsored content, gives ZDNet readers the chance to expand it and explore further marketing materials, like research papers and case studies, without leaving the site. So far, the company has signed up three marketers for six-month engagements: IBM, Sybase and Microsoft.

“This is a great example of where we think integrated marketing is going as a result of the Web and what technology can do for a marketer overall,” said Greg Mason, executive vice president of sales and marketing at CNET Networks.

The new marketing option will work in concert with ZDNet’s other advertising options, which include large-unit and regular banner ads.

“It’s an ideal way to get beyond the 30,000-foot message,” said Ted Smith, vice president of CNET Networks’ business technology group.

PowerCenter is part of a bigger site overhaul that CNET Networks hopes will align ZDNet’s editorial and marketing focus closer with readers’ needs.

“The goal here is that we’re constantly relevant to the most important segment of decision makers in this category,” Smith said. The company touted research showing 72 percent of managers making IT buying decisions used the Internet for information, against just 47 percent using tech magazines.

The first PowerCenter advertiser is IBM, which is using the marketing vehicle to push its On Demand computing initiative. Through the new features, ZDNet users can find more information on IBM’s take on integration, Web services, collaboration and portals. In October, IBM launched an $800 million ad campaign to back up its ambitious new initiative to use open standards to underpin integrated systems that boast self-healing capabilities.

“When these enterprise decision makers come to the site, they’re pretty task-specific,” said Mason. “IBM is trying to deliver very deep messaging.”

CNET Networks acquired ZDNet in its October 2000 acquisition of Ziff-Davis in a $1.6 billion deal.

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