ZoomInfo Ad Targeting Spinoff Launches in SF

5/21/08Follow @bbuderi

A few months ago, when we zoomed in on ZoomInfo, the Waltham, MA-based business database company was beta testing an ad-targeting service designed to quickly identify website visitors and serve up ads customized for people in their specific job categories.

It’s all about business demographics, or “bizographics.” As Wade wrote, “In a way, ZoomInfo’s service is similar to the consumer-oriented ‘behavorial targeting’ services offered by Tacoda and Revenue Science. But there are two big differences. ZoomInfo’s service is aimed at people in business roles. And thanks to its profile database, ZoomInfo can target Web surfers based on a highly informed guess about their job title and responsibilities—not just based on which websites they’ve visited recently or what subjects they search for…”

Yesterday, ZoomInfo officially spun off its ad service business unit as its own bizographics company, dubbed (perhaps you guessed it) Bizo. Former ZoomInfo GM and SVP of advertising Russell Glass is Bizo’s CEO. Unfortunately, for those wanting to see more New England startups, Bizo is based in San Francisco.

“In a nutshell, we knew there was a big advertising opportunity in the B2B space, and we thought ZoomInfo was in a great position to take advantage of that given our knowledge of business people and companies,” ZoomInfo president Bryan Burdick told me yesterday. Burdick says the response to the beta test was extremely promising—and informative. One of the things the company learned, Burdick says, was that bizographics was a “different kind of opportunity than [our] core business. So at the end of the day we felt that it was really better suited as a separate company that could grow along its own trajectory.” He says Bizo was spun off to shareholders and funded with a debt financing from ZoomInfo.

Why California? “The primary reason is that from a technology perspective there’s a lot of talent out there, particularly in the engineering side, for individuals that have great experience in building highly scalable ad networks of this type,” Burdick says. The San Francisco area is also home to several potential publishing and advertising partners, he says.

ZoomInfo will continue with its core business of scouring the Web for information about people and companies, which it organizes into free and premium databases used by sales, marketing, and recruiting professionals to identify business opportunities and talent.

Bob is Xconomy's founder and editor in chief. You can e-mail him at bbuderi@xconomy.com, call him at 617.500.5926. Follow @bbuderi

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