Thanks to impressive traffic numbers and ever-evolving integrated marketing opportunities, CNET Networks' portfolio of business sites has long been a favorite of advertisers looking to reach business technology influencers.The portfolio includes three business technology sites—News.com, Techrepublic.com and ZDNet.com—as well as a newer site, Bnet.com, which is focused on general business. Combined, the sites had 6.6 million unique visitors in March, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.
"They're almost a must-talk-to if you're looking at reaching any type of tech audience," said Bill Hebel, senior VP-media director at b2b agency Slack Barshinger.
Greg Mason, senior VP of CNET Networks, said the sites' content focuses on utility—giving business decision-makers information from multiple sources to help them make smart decisions. "Yes, they want to hear from traditional editors; we have those," he said. "They want to hear from other experts that may not be on our staff; we have those, too. They also want to talk to their peers, so we make it very easy for them to talk to each other about common problems."
Much of what CNET does on a day-to-day basis is focused on unifying and simplifying the way users experience that content, Mason said—a feat that involves multiple Web 2.0 initiatives, such as blogging, podcasts, video and content tagging.
CNET's pioneering integrated marketing opportunities allow marketers that have sophisticated messages to provide more details than they could in a standard online ad unit, Mason said. For example, ZDNet's Power Centers enable advertisers to provide white papers, case studies, webcasts and other resources to visitors. The sites also offer a directory of vendor white papers that users must register to view.
The company has a proprietary tracking system that allows advertisers to gather details about the users that view that vendor content, such as what their functional responsibilities are and what kind of company they represent. It can also track references to advertisers anywhere in the network of sites—for instance, in peer forums and blogs—and then report back to the advertiser on how it's being viewed compared with other players in its category. "It's a very robust opportunity for marketers to find out specifically who is accessing information about their products and services," Mason said.
Between its content and the marketing plans it puts together, CNET is extremely effective at what it does, said Jon Schaaf, media director at b2b agency HSR Business-to-Business. "They do a fantastic job of integrating and bundling packages that really set out to meet the client's goals and objectives," he said. "People on staff there understand the Web as an advertising medium and how to reach the target market." &mdash
2007 MEDIA POWER 50
|No. 1 The Wall Street Journal||No. 2 Google||No. 3 Forbes.com|
|No. 4 The New York Times||No. 5. CNET Networks||No. 6. Meet the Press|
|No. 7 USA Today||No. 8 BusinessWeek||No. 9 ESPN 'SportsCenter'|
|No. 10 Yahoo!|
|Top Newspapers||Top Business Magazines||Top IT Magazines|
|Top Trades||Top Web Sites||Top Broadcast|