Meebo Acquires Psychographic Ad Targeter Mindset

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Social content sharing and IM platform Meebo is putting last fall’s $25 million funding round to work: the company is buying online ad measurement and targeting firm Mindset Media. As an online branding specialist that has a particular focus on consumer packaged goods marketers, Mindset is expected to enhance Meebo’s existing work with brand advertisers without sacrificing its direct response business. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

For over the past year, Meebo has been working on new features for its ad-supported toolbars, which appear on content sites such as TVGuide.com, Mediaweek.com and Maxim.com. The bars stay in a fixed position at the bottom of the user’s screen as they scroll down a content site’s page. Through the buttons on the toolbar, users can share the content page they’re on via Twitter and Facebook — and they can also clearly see a prominent, if shrunken, display ad perched on the toolbar’s right hand corner.

In an interview between both companies and paidContent, Mindset founder and CEO Jim Meyer outlined the value of psychographic targeting versus traditional demographic targeting. Although demo targeted ads are still the foundation of the media planning in general, a number of online firms have dismissed the form as too broad and inefficient, especially for interactive.

Companies like Media6 Degrees, for example, have largely eschewed demo-based targeting, such as trying to simply tie an ad to a person’s age or gender. Instead, Media6, which also raised a large $17 million funding in December and is likely looking for companies of its own to buy, tries to zero in the social media aspects of like-minded users who might visit a particular set of sites.

As Meyer explained it, psychographic targeting is interested in “the ‘who’ people are as opposed to demographic, which is the ‘what’ people are. The problem with demo targeting is that every developed category, from tech, to autos, is crowded with too many products into a certain space. Psychographics is more about the sophisticated categories are where the big brand dollars reside.”

Meebo COO Martin Green added, “When it comes to CPG, companies are not necessarily selling on price or ingredients. They’re selling on brand affinity. That’s what Mindset offers.”

Mindset will keep its own brand identity as it prepares to be folded into Meebo, as Meyer becomes SVP of Meebo and relinquishes his CEO role. Only two jobs in business development will be lost at Mindset, which has 12 staffers currently.

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