DoubleClick, Forrester Look Deeper At Net Buys - InformationWeek

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DoubleClick, Forrester Look Deeper At Net Buys

Internet ad company DoubleClick Inc. and analyst firm ForresterResearch boosted their abilities to decipher Internet buying patterns on the Internet as each sealed deals Monday with online research firms.

Looking to present deeper online research to the media-planning industry, DoubleClick picked up online target-market research firm Atplan Inc. for $125 million in stock and cash. Atplan collects information for Internet advertisers, agencies, and publishers using an in-house database that can cross-reference consumer- survey data regarding life style, product preferences, and demographics. Clients can use this information to plan marketing, advertising, and sales strategies. DoubleClick, which sells and services a network of Internet ad locations, says it will use Atplan as a launch pad for its own research division.

One analyst says the acquisition could be a smart move in a tightening online-media industry. "They're facing additional competition from companies like [A.C.] Nielsen," says Chris Hansen, an advertising-industry analyst with Bank Of America. If "media companies don't think they're biased, this may become a significant portion of their business."

Meanwhile, Forrester is also looking to give its E-commerce clients hard data on consumers' Internet buying behavior. On Monday, Forrester outlined a partnership with Internet-behavior- tracking company ComScore Networks Inc. that will give Forrester access to data collected as ComScore follows the purchases of more than 1 million registered consumers. Forrester says it will combine ComScore's behavioral data with its own market research and analysis to help clients better plan online selling. The partnership comes a week after Forrester took a minority holding in ComScore during the company's third round of funding.

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