Tacoda Targets

Our portfolio company, Tacoda Systems, the leader in the behavioral targeting market, announced yesterday that they are launching a set of pre-defined standard segments called “Tacoda Targets“.

The idea is to create segments that advertisers can purchase across all of Tacoda’s customers. Until now, if you wanted to reach Auto Buyers, you had to rely on each publishers’ definition of Auto Buyers and that caused confusion in the marketplace. Confusion is not normally a good thing for market development.

Now, as long as Tacoda’s publisher partners are using Tacoda Targets, an advertiser can purchase Auto Buyers across multiple publications using the exact same definition. I think this is a really good step forward for the entire industry.

This doesn’t mean that publishers can’t create custom segments. They do that today and will certainly continue doing that, for their own reasons and also to respond to particular requests from advertisers.

ClickZ has a good piece on this announcement with quotes from Dave Morgan, Tacoda’s CEO, Jupiter Analyst Nate Elliott, and Tacoda’s competitor Revenue Sciences.

In response, another Jupiter Analyst, Gary Stein, posted a piece on his Analyst Weblog, asserting that Tacoda Targets were going to fail in their attempt to create a standard. But Gary must not have read the ClickZ article too closely (even though he quotes from it) because Dave Morgan tells ClickZ that

“We’re not trying to put a stake in the ground. We’re thinking of this as a sounding board. Wherever the standards go, Tacoda will follow.”

It’s like all emerging markets. People need to develop some rules, processes, and systems in reaction to customer demand. Over time, these rules, processes, and systems will evolve based on the market demand and innovation by Tacoda and others into something that will look a lot like a standard.

I am really pleased with this move and applaud Tacoda’s leadership in moving the behavioral market forward with this initiative.