Made to Measure

In its current issue, BusinessWeek explores the resasoning behind recent M&A activity in the online advertising sector and calls out BlueLithium as a company to watch.

Now marketers are spoiled. And as big-brand advertisers move online in greater force, they're demanding the ability to apply the same kind of targeting and measurability they get from paid search to all the other ads they run. "Everybody's got the mindset that everything should be measurable," says Erik Qualman, head of North America marketing for travel site Travelzoo Inc. (TZOO) One reason: While targeted ads online may cost about twice as much as untargeted ads, they can produce twice the return on investment. As a result, says David R. Verklin, chief executive of Carat Americas, the agency that buys online ads for the likes of Pfizer Inc. (PFE), "data and data analytics are the next big battleground in marketing."

And on the Internet. Ad networks such as Specific Media, Blue Lithium, and 24/7 Real Media (TFSM) appear to be on the short list for acquisition by major media and tech companies.