Amid Groupon’s IPO Frenzy, Analog Analytics Offers Old Media a White-Label Life Ring

6/10/11Follow @bvbigelow

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Hillsboro, OR-based RadiSys (NASDAQ:RSYS) in a deal that could ultimately be worth $120 million—and provide a windfall to Kalb.

During his tenure as CEO (Kalb left Continuous Computing in 2005), he says, “One of the things that drove me crazy was that there was no accountability with advertising. I knew to the penny how much it cost to operate my business,” but publishers had no way of measuring exactly how many people actually saw a magazine ad or were prompted to buy something because of it.

After leaving Continuous Computing, Kalb saw what could be achieved with online marketing when he took over as the CEO of SearchRev, a Silicon Valley company that manages large-scale search engine marketing campaigns for such clients as Yahoo, Shutterfly and Coca-Cola. Kalb says that while he was there, SearchRev increased its revenue 500 percent over 15 months, leading to SearchRev’s 2007 acquisition by the interactive marketing firm AKQA and General Atlantic, the private equity firm.

With fresh insights into online advertising and search engine marketing, Kalb says, “I had this notion of trying to make traditional advertising accountable in a digital marketplace.” With Analog Analytics, he saw an opportunity to bring digital analytics to an analog world. “Our focus is on this intersection between traditional media and interactive media,” Kalb says, “turning risk-free advertising solutions into enormous opportunities.”

Unlike Groupon, which bypasses traditional publishers by marketing its daily deals directly to consumers, Kalb and Buscher developed their software specifically for newspaper publishers and other traditional media. “Groupon disintermediates the marketplace,” Kalb says. “Analog Analytics tries to empower publishers and broadcasters by enabling them to do their own daily deals, using a software-as-a-service model.”

He calls the business model “a godsend” for both publishers and merchants, chiefly because a consumer pays for the product or service first, enabling publishers and merchants to get paid up front before they have to deliver anything. Still, Kalb says direct, “consumer-based revenue” is like a foreign language to publishers and broadcasters because ads were sold … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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