United Business Media’s TechInsights group, which includes EE Times and TechOnline, has launched an online portal that allows customers to independently search and buy ad packages among its more than 80 products.
TechInsights Direct was developed in partnership with Balihoo, a company that sells advertising productivity tools. The portal is designed to be a “one-stop shop” where marketers can search and browse inventory, purchase advertising and upload their creative directly. Though TechInsights CEO Paul Miller is “loathe to say it is the Expedia of the media space,” he says it is similar in that it puts research and transaction capabilities into the buyer’s hands.
“This will help us with the long tail of customers we can’t reach,” Miller told FOLIO:. “It’s a way for these customers to come in and begin that process of interacting. It’s good for small customers and great for incremental spends from existing customers.”
The portal is also designed to free up salespeople’s time. “They don’t need to be used on a smaller $3,000 sale,” Miller says. “That can clog up a whole week if you’re not careful.”
Implementing the technology was a complex process, according to Miller, and took about three years.
According to Shane Vaughan, vice president of marketing at Balihoo, the technology isn’t quite an ad portal just yet, as it isn’t able to preflight check files, but those capabilities are on Balihoo’s roadmap. For companies that already have ad portals, he says, “the two systems are integrated and work in conjunction.”
TechInsights pays Balihoo for an annual renewable licensee for the software and some revenue share.