eBureau to set up online ad unit

eBureau, a St. Cloud company that analyzes customer data for financial services businesses and direct marketers, is expected to announce today that it is spinning off its business that helps companies target online advertising more precisely.

The new company will be called TruSignal, and it will operate as a sister company to eBureau under the parent company, xTech Holdings Inc. of St. Cloud.

Combined, both companies are anticipating revenue this year of $20 million, with the majority coming from eBureau, said Jeff Liebl, executive vice president of marketing and chief strategy officer.

“After nearly two years of research and development, product refinement and market testing, our audience targeting product line has emerged as our fastest- growing offering, eBureau founder and CEO Gordy Meyer said.

Privately held eBureau, which started in 2004 and receives backing from Split Rock Partners in Minneapolis, along with other venture capital firms, initially focused on helping financial services companies sift through customer data to prevent online fraud, predict customers’ ability to pay and manage risk.

But in the meantime, the business of targeted online advertising has mushroomed.

The Internet Advertising Bureau estimates U.S. online advertising revenue hit $7.88 billion for the third quarter last year, up 22 percent over the previous year’s period. The total expenditure in 2010 was $26 billion and 2011’s total will likely top that.

The growth has been fueled by a shift in ad spending away from traditional print and broadcasting and toward digital platforms that include personal computers, smartphones, tablets like the iPad and other mobile devices.

Businesses want to know who’s actually viewing and clicking on their online ads, and TruSignal is marketing its data mining expertise to grab a share of that growing market.

By using their own data to figure out their ideal customer, businesses can put advertising messages in front of a more receptive audience and not waste time annoying people who don’t care, Liebl said.

Originally published 01/09/2012 on TwinCities.com


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