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By the time you're reading these words." From fledglings like Inform to tech powerhouses such as IBM (). they're changing the nature of research in newsrooms and in biology labs. turns up in the polytope near France.and.math. Now they're mapping out ad campaigns and building new businesses from mountains of personal data Neal Goldman is a math entrepreneur. where numbers rule. This has happened before. Schatz. ourselves. We feed networks gobs of digital data that once would have languished on scraps of paper -. Inform Technologies LLC. Partnerships between mathematicians and computer scientists are bulling into whole new domains of business and imposing the efficiencies of math. quants turned finance upside down. companies are hitching mathematics to business in ways that would have seemed fanciful even a few years ago. And data miners plucked useful nuggets from vast consumer and business databases. These slices of our lives now sit in databases. Says James R. How do you convert written words into math? Goldman says it takes a combination of algebra and geometry. is a robotic librarian. even alcoholism. a sizable chunk of humanity has moved its work. 2006 COVER STORY A generation ago. who also exist in Inform's system as -. It reads them and groups COVER them with related pieces. almost impossible to conjure up in our earthbound minds. It STORY uses algorithms to analyze each article by its language and context. Imagine an object floating in space that has an edge for every known scrap of information. agriculture. The world is moving into a new age of numbers. Goldman's startup. Inform doesn't do this work alphabetically or by keywords. wine.htm?chan=gl (1 of 6)1/17/2006 2:47:50 AM Math Will Rock Your World . chief of the mathematics research group at the National Security Agency: "There has never been a better time to be a mathematician. the marriage of higher math and computer modeling transformed science and engineering. and they're enabling marketers to forge new oneon-one relationships with customers. and shopping online. It's called a polytope and it has near-infinite dimensions. But just look at where the mathematicians are now. In the past decade. http://www. A single article on Bordeaux wine. Inform's algorithm calculates the relevance of one article to the next by measuring the angle between the two lines. And every article that Inform processes becomes a single line within it.com/print/magazine/content/06_04/b3968001. play. Every day it combs through thousands of press articles and blog posts in English.you guessed it -. Each line has a series of relationships. In each case.Math Will Rock Your World Close Window JANUARY 23. But he's focusing his analytic tools on a different realm altogether: the world of words. for example. They're helping to map out advertising campaigns. what's next? Our businesses -.businessweek. It contains every topic written about in the press. many of them in the public domain. He works on Wall Street. As this occurs. It then sends PODCAST customized news feeds to its users. And that raises a fundamental question: If long articles full of twists and turns can be reduced to a mathematical essence. In past decades.or vanished as forgotten conversations. more of the economy falls into the realm of numbers. Quants turned finance upside down a generation ago. yes. chat. this very article will exist as a line in Goldman's polytope.

Amit and Balraj Singh. Internet companies use this data not only to profile customers but also to pitch for more contracts. The power of mathematicians to make sense of personal data and to model the behavior of individuals will inevitably continue to erode privacy. Researchers at Aetna Health Care. our identities will be shielded.S. shoppers. perhaps a few genetic details. There Google and other search companies built on math are turning an industry that grew on ideas. We'll be modeled as workers. quite simply. Some models predict what music we'll buy. Fifteen months ago. cheap storage. they'll try to use them to keep us from hijacking airplanes or detonating bombs. meanwhile. Merchants will be in a position to track many of our most intimate purchases. we ourselves become the math nerds' most prized specimens. says: "All of my students have standing offers at Yahoo! () and Google (). from atmospheric sensors to the feeds from millions of security cameras. This mathematical modeling of humanity promises to be one of the great undertakings of the 21st century. and ramp up our productivity. and often. and employers will be able to rank us not only by productivity. chief technical officer of Inform. Amazon. They can pull it off because. and patients. Many of these models will be eerily accurate and others laughably off mark. a company that uses math to analyze marketing trends online. by some guesstimates. a foreboding that mathematics. a laboratory for innovation and discovery composed of numbers. much less build businesses on them. not a doctor.to Juniper Networks () for $337 million.com/print/magazine/content/06_04/b3968001. Some of the simulations will have our names and credit cards attached.businessweek. and many other companies are piecing together mathematical models of customers and employees. and algorithms. the digital equivalent of stick figures. hunches. without enlisting skilled mathematicians and computer scientists. a financial analysis company called CapitalIQ." The clearest example of math's disruptive power is in advertising. As Jack Einhorn. for $225 million to Standard & Poor's () (like BusinessWeek. But companies and governments will use them all the same to predict how to sell us things. But even with the most powerful computers and abundant. Math entrepreneurs. Tom Leighton." Top mathematicians are becoming a new global elite. Debates over these issues have flared up many times in the past decade. especially at the Internet powerhouses where new math grads land with six-figure salaries and rich stock deals.. CEO of Boulder (Colo. Congress investigates the Bush Administration's mining of phone and Internet traffic in its effort to sniff out terrorists. And they are sure to rear up again as the U. What's more. It's a parallel world that's taking shape. but every bit as powerful as the armies of Harvard University MBAs who shook up corner suites a generation ago. spells out our destiny. what they buy. voters. Some 18 http://www. In a world teeming with data. steer us clear of diseases. sold Perabit Networks -. others figure out which worker is best equipped for a particular job. but by wasted minutes. And last May two brothers.Math Will Rock Your World From a business point of view.)-based Umbria Inc. they know where their prospective customers are browsing. But over the coming decade. the rise of math can contribute to a sense that individuals are powerless.com (). a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies). Neal Goldman of Inform sold his previous math-based startup. they're just begging to be analyzed. vectors.a company that developed algorithms for genetic research -. The rise of mathematics is heating up the job market for luminary quants. each of us will give birth to far more fleshed out simulations of ourselves. and we turn you into math. puts it: "The next Jonas Salk will be a mathematician. an entrepreneur and applied math professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In others." says Howard Kaushansky. For now. companies can't sort out their swelling oceans of data. these models are crude. and personal relationships into a series of calculations. what they click on. "We turn the world of content into math. from our credit rating to our genomic map. It will grow in scope to include much of the physical world as mathematicians get their hands on new flows of data. It's a force of barely 5. are raking in bonanzas. And yes. But the merger of sophisticated data mining and higher math has tremendous power to conquer mankind's scourges as well.000. The Dark Side This industrial metamorphosis also has a dark side.htm?chan=gl (2 of 6)1/17/2006 2:47:50 AM .

an online lender. 30 blue-chip companies. underwent a series of tests promoted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau. showed that large numbers of young men look to it as a cocktail mixer in hopes that the http://www. Ford responded vigorously: Last August it announced plans to move up to 30% of its $1 billion ad budget into media targeted to individual customers.com/print/magazine/content/06_04/b3968001. Sometimes it uncovers trends researchers weren't even looking for. but traditional businesses are following suit. snippets of video -. journalism. geographical coordinates. no machine could sift through the photos. Over time. As publishers seek to optimize profits and performance. () and a former Harvard B-school professor. Internet marketers are the natural leaders. or criminal detective work. In the last five years. a growing role in editorial decisions. Pi in the Sky Math is also positioned to shake up investigations. Khan crunches his stash of words. even emotions -. Sherlock Holmes sometimes looked for them in plumes of pipe smoke. and Zip codes. words. He spends $15 million a year -. Gary W. The risk: It gives math-based analysts." But some companies are making inroads. for example. With banks of consumer data continuing to swell. And why not? Even today. founder of Marketing Evolution. giving greater clout to the numbers people. gender. for example. from Procter & Gamble Co. A recent search for Gatorade (). calculating the return on investment for each one and tweaking thousands of bids hour by hour. (). These studies crunched consumer data to measure the effectiveness of advertising in a host of media. Loveman. looking for market intelligence. and its stock has nearly tripled. from getaway weekends to gourmet dining. It can give cell-phone companies or fast-food restaurants the latest buzz on an ad campaign or a new sandwich.and turns them into math. Then it analyzes the content. an industry group. he started three years ago by bidding on keywords on the major search engines. As data mavens gather more information about customers.5% to 6% of the total. Rising flows of data give companies the intelligence to home in on the individual customer. data analysis will grow in importance. They indicated. Each time a Web surfer types one of those words in a search engine. and Khan's team pays the price bid for each click. Harrah's has averaged 22% annual growth. Such moves are sure to generate even more data. () to Walt Disney Co. Like most others in the industry.htm?chan=gl (3 of 6)1/17/2006 2:47:50 AM . that Ford Motor Co. Just ask Imran Khan. an analytics startup in Silicon Valley. calculated to maximize returns.and he accumulates massive feedback from customers.Math Will Rock Your World months ago. grammar. The models include gamblers' ages. an E-Loan ad appears next to the results. sleuths have relied for centuries on the human brain to pick through strands of disparate evidence and to find patterns.. Umbria breaks down English messages into the smallest components -. the director of search advertising at E-Loan.words. An accountant by training. Working with Efficient Frontier Inc. quants on the marketing side will be able to provide editors and program managers with increasingly sophisticated statistical models. () could have sold an additional $625 million worth of trucks if it had lifted its online ad budget from 2. Whether in law. The results came back in hard numbers.businessweek. Take media." says Rex Briggs. looking for trends.000 key words and phrases. names. half of it through online advertising.half of E-Loan's ad budget -. CEO of casino giant Harrah's Entertainment Inc. Khan has turned the advertising operation into an enormous statistical laboratory. they gain muscle to demand changes inside companies. the San Francisco company that conducted the 30 advertising studies. These data enable Harrah's to study gambling through a host of variables and to target individuals with offers. not to mention advertisers. has led the company to build individual profiles of millions of Harrah's customers. telling them which types of TV scenes or articles appeal most to certain demographic groups. Khan's team has amassed a portfolio of 250. as well as the amount of time they spent gambling and how much they won or lost. Colorado's Umbria has built a system to sift through millions of blogs in real time.that towering mountain of information that computer scientists call "unstructured data. phrases. But running search-based ads is hardly a static process. "It puts a question mark around the classic church-state divide in the media.

Takriti says. This doesn't have to be limited to one company. It's actually an extension of mathematical modeling that's been going on for half a century at companies like IBM. they're building models of their colleagues. who came from the math shop at Enron Corp. Calculus Ahead http://www. Years before the accounting mess brought the company down. Raghavan describes Yahoo's immense pool of data. IBM consultants are implementing math-based blueprints to upgrade steel mills in China and revamp operations at the U. curiosities. a 40-member team of researchers is scrutinizing people. statisticians. They'll come into being as Yahoo discovers new ways to satisfy the urges. At the Sunnyvale (Calif. Decades later. A survey of company e-mail. IBM hired Takriti for a second stint in 2000. The first step in modeling IBM's workforce. The mathematicians' systems lacked the data to provide more detail. "Productivity could rise by a factor of 10. To date. Better algorithms.com/print/magazine/content/06_04/b3968001. say. Eventually. Calendar data could show which consultants have more free time.businessweek. at an IBM research center a half-hour's drive north of New York City. trucking schedules. the system will know exactly where the consultants are. by tracking mobile devices. and schedules. Once the company had a working model. Big Blue named him senior manager of stochastic analysis. a new call center in Manila. That's the science of incorporating random behavior. "We'll have systems that tap our knowledge by the minute. Today.Math Will Rock Your World electrolytes in the sports drink will ease hangovers. Following World War II. is to harvest all sorts of data from company records. many will use math to boost productivity and shake up the workplace. with each task going to the best-qualified person. Scribbling on a white board covered with equations. And even if they had amassed a huge pile of it.S. If you look back at those old supply-chain programs. The current project is to refocus the supply-chain programs on 50. and manufacturing plants. e-marketers. Raghavan's mandate is to sift through that data and form new connections among consumers. "are critical to survival." As companies continue to receive ever more data about their own processes and their workers. he says. The team combines data miners. Enron pioneered advanced math to create new financial markets. says Takriti. furnaces. similar insights could uncover countless other patterns. researchers at Big Blue constructed a mathematical model of the company's supply chain. a year before Enron's collapse. and desires of this customer base. It featured raw materials. he believes. the primitive computers of the time would have choked on it. A leader in this effort is Syrian-born Samer Takriti.000 of the consultants in IBM's services division. featuring the online activity of 200 million registered customers. and the rejiggering sped up IBM's operations and cut costs. CEO of Paris-based ILOG. There is a whole world of uninvented businesses. People were represented by numbers and were largely interchangeable.) campus of Yahoo. IBM's optimization program will cull through its global database and put together the perfect team. a company that turns customers' raw data into visual displays. In the future. then cut into tiny pieces. That means that instead of modeling machines. Now. foresees virtual assembly lines. And when a contract comes through for. into math models. it put it through a mathematical analysis called optimization. Pierre Haren. The results suggested specific improvements. Vast globe-spanning projects can be modeled. They could help bankers spot entrepreneurs careening toward bankruptcy or point police toward sociopaths planning terrorist acts. including the meanderings of humans. though. Workers who e-mail each other a lot are more likely to work well together. there's one important element nearly absent: the human being. these professionals are divided into 200 categories. chief researcher Prabhakar Raghavan heads a team of 100 mathematicians and computer scientists. and advertisers." he says." That may sound like more digital pi in the sky. as Yahoo's most precious resource. could highlight communication links between employees and the informal social networks that they create. Postal Service. But the math team is hunting for richer personal details.htm?chan=gl (4 of 6)1/17/2006 2:47:50 AM . and experts in operations research. IBM turned optimization into a leg of its services business. The hints of these future businesses float in the oceans of Yahoo's data.

This way. Cynthia Dwork.businessweek. On one hand. Managers will operate tools not only to monitor employees' performance but also to follow their movements and drive up productivity. from predictive models of real estate markets to patient mortality charts for comparing different oncologists. engaging more girls and ethnic minorities in math.S. for example. This is especially true in America. income. Mathematicians are at the heart of the privacy battle -. "It's very possible for people to misplace faith in numbers. This could disrupt efforts to use math and data mining to fight disease and to battle terrorism. race. In Microsoft Corp. Midcareer managers can delegate much of this work to http://www. medication. At the same time.'s () laboratories near San Francisco. including the social sciences. And it doesn't take much imagination to see where that can lead. a cryptographer." says Michael Sipser. Outfitting students with the right quantitative skills is a crucial test facing school boards and education ministries worldwide. consumers will be armed with ever more data." This means the researchers will have to factor in a certain amount of human behavior. A similar pattern holds for many other math-based professions. "If you have a system. Private Lives One significant challenge to the math revolution is to build new businesses from data without sacrificing privacy.com/print/magazine/content/06_04/b3968001. school districts must cultivate greater math savvy among the broader population to prepare it for a business world in which numbers will pop up continuously. As soon as you zoom in on an individual face.000 math grad students now in the U.on both sides." says Takriti. This will require revamping education. if IBM's operation yields fruit. the country must breed more top-notch mathematicians at home. "It's critical to the future of our technological society. but even Dwork admits that mathematically gifted hackers can continue to pry open doors that she and her team slam shut. and boosting the number of students who make it through calculus. If customers." she says. is working on a system to shield individuals while making use of the data. from computer science to engineering. now is twofold. Perhaps. director of technology at Google. they figure out how to game it. On the other side. from lowballing sales targets to "accidentally" deleting a rival's snazzy report. patients. we know the power of the adversary. much of it untested. The U. Dwork and her team are encasing each person's records in a camouflage of numbers that she calls "noise. they'll even have the tools to link these initiatives to revenue or return on investment. they'll likely work to lock up their information or move it off network.S." says Craig Silverstein. education. It adds up to an era chock-full of numbers. Machines never do. and neighborhood without zeroing in on one person. they're working with new data. Still. managers and entrepreneurs must bone up on mathematics. where it is harder for foreigners to get student visas. This may well involve extending the math curriculum to include more applied subjects such as statistics. it becomes pixelated. Math's other problem? Sometimes it's just not as smart as advertised. head of the mathematics department at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Eventually IBM-like programs will reach us. Just as mathematicians need to grapple with human quirks and mysteries. This threatens to make the models fuzzier. The antidote at Google and elsewhere is to put mathematicians on teams with specialists from other disciplines. you can bet that Big Blue will be offering similar workforce modeling services to its customers. Even in the post-September 11 world. It's a promising approach. and workers have reason to fear that the intimate details of their lives are floating around in databases. especially as foreigners find greater opportunities abroad.Math Will Rock Your World The program will take years to implement. "As cryptographers. could study them by age. has long leaned on foreigners to provide math talent in universities and corporate research labs.S.htm?chan=gl (5 of 6)1/17/2006 2:47:50 AM ." Think of looking at a picture of a crowd. an estimated half of the 20. the gateway for math-based disciplines. are foreign-born. The goal now is to create systems that share group information while shielding the individual. researchers working with a database of HIV or breast cancer patients. As mathematicians expand their domain into the humanities. like Internet marketers. The challenge facing the U. "People are complicated.

All rights reserved. It's a percolating laboratory full of surprising connections. Yes. But they still must understand enough about math to question the assumptions behind the numbers. "Now it's easier for people to bamboozle someone by having analysis based on lots of data and graphs. "We have to train people in business to spot a bogus argument. By Stephen Baker.Math Will Rock Your World their staffers. As more of the world's information is pooled into mathematics.com/print/magazine/content/06_04/b3968001.htm?chan=gl (6 of 6)1/17/2006 2:47:50 AM . Pfleiderer. and a birthplace for new industries. http://www. the realm of numbers becomes an ever larger meeting ground.businessweek." And to spot opportunities. it's a magnificent time to know math. with Bremen Leak in New York Advertising | Special Sections | MarketPlace | Knowledge Centers Terms of Use | Privacy Notice | Ethics Code | Contact Us Copyright 2000. a finance professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc." says Paul C.

the NSA has assembled multidisciplinary teams. About half of the estimated 20. and computer scientists. NSA math whizzes matched wits with the Soviets: Each side protected its own secret codes while trying to break the other's. The agency is even co-sponsoring math and programming contests run by TopCoder. They're off bounds. many of whom have backgrounds in liberal arts. engineers. and it's up to the agency's math teams to find them. (For security reasons. but far less so at the NSA. "Many of our new hires are women. NSA mathematicians are at the heart of the controversy percolating in Washington over wire taps President Bush authorized. Half of all hires in the math division are PhDs. "We have to look at new and innovative ways to find talent. and Microsoft (). citizens. But there's also a lifestyle lure.S. China.com/print/magazine/content/06_04/b3968007.) But the officials admit that it's no easy job to lure a mathematician from a gold-plated job at a West Coast campus. Eastern Europe. Like Yahoo. a Connecticut company whose matches attract geeks from all over the world. The mathematicians don't plow through the data alone. But to land the best brains." says Schatz. the world's growing rivers of data contain terrorist secrets. without warrants.giving NSA mathematicians more to work with. chief of the NSA's recruitment office. 19. especially at the PhD level. "Look at the whole telecommunications industry." says Cynthia Miller-Wentt." he says. This is especially true of women.S. This is leading the agency to open up its recruiting process. 2006 COVER STORY Online Extra: The NSA: Security in Numbers The techno-spy agency has a greater need than ever for American math talent.businessweek. A big part of the recruiting challenge at the NSA is to attract young people who haven't heard of the agency.htm?chan=gl (1 of 2)1/17/2006 2:50:41 AM . the NSA can hire only U.000 math graduate students at U. chief of the mathematics research group at the agency. is "one area where mathematicians are having an enormous impact here. The agents. Math is more important than ever at the NSA. For now. universities are foreigners. they're underrepresented in mathematics." Indeed. the mathematicians who accepted them stole off to Washington and the hush-hush National Security Agency. as the math problems have grown more complicated. The agency is cosponsoring a 10-week competition. PATRIOT PITCH. the information that's flying around the Internet.Online Extra: The NSA: Security in Numbers Close Window JANUARY 23. but recruiting in the age of Google is a lot tougher The job offers arrived in plain envelopes. they report. They include mathematicians. the NSA must compete with free-spending Web giants such as Google () and Yahoo! (). The NSA's pitch? First the agency appeals to the recruits' patriotism. Its participation in the TopCoder contests is part of this drive. and elsewhere. which is expected to attract thousands of computer scientists and math whizzes around the world. as are the bountiful math brains in India. Much of the work at the NSA boils down to the same challenges the Internet giants are grappling with. BRAND BUILDING. For decades. NSA officials say a good number of mathematicians prefer a suburban Maryland life and a government job with predictable hours to the more frantic pace and market gyrations of an Internet company. The President's policy casts a wider net for data -from phone and Internet traffic -. the NSA doesn't give numbers of the mathematicians and computer scientists working there. the nation's top techno-spy center. The study of these "massive data sets. Through online elimination rounds. In the last decade." says James Schatz. NSA officials insist they're meeting recruiting targets. all working with intelligence agents. starting Jan. In general. UNWARRANTED DATA. Google. focus the technical teams on the problems to solve. the field http://www. Chances are. This is a severe constraint. following the terrorist attacks of 2001. Through the cold war. There's a second hitch: Unlike the tech companies it must compete with. the NSA is working to squeeze intelligence out of the data flooding through global networks.

hinges on the health of American math education. the national security of the U. All rights reserved. mathematics community isn't healthy. -." By Stephen Baker in New York Advertising | Special Sections | MarketPlace | Knowledge Centers Terms of Use | Privacy Notice | Ethics Code | Contact Us Copyright 2000.com/print/magazine/content/06_04/b3968007. will compete together for $150.businessweek.S. http://www.htm?chan=gl (2 of 2)1/17/2006 2:50:41 AM . TopCoder winners are often foreign. "the NSA isn't healthy. But the contest helps the agency build its brand as a cutting-edge lab for math and computer science. And this group. In the end. and therefore unavailable to the NSA. surrounded by large-display computer screens and cheering crowds. "If the U.000 in prizes." Schatz says.2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.Online Extra: The NSA: Security in Numbers will be narrowed to 64. the success of the NSA -.S.and by extension. though.

Those help determine the bidding strategy." He certainly doesn't want potential customers who start out with his company in mind to click on a competitor's ad. marketing is more about analysis than creativity. CEO of Efficient Frontier. "Elone?" Ditto. an analytics startup in Mountain View. Khan's automated system generates a return on investment for each keyword. Khan's share has risen from 20% to 50% of E-Loan's total marketing budget. it has also shaken up marketing departments in companies around the world (see BW Online. "Cost. BUYING YOUR BRAND. For decades. Working with Efficient Frontier. Khan's team takes the flow of numbers coming in from the search engines and marries them with internal data. Khan." he says. 3/7/05.com/print/magazine/content/06_04/b3968008. "If they're looking for us. While the search advertising boom has focused attention on Google () and the Overture division of Yahoo! (). fluctuating much like a financial market. and that number helps to determines Khan's bidding strategy. He bids on that too. The crucial calculation for a search marketer is to bid on keywords at the big search engines. Then he factors in the constraints. He heads search marketing at E-Loan (). Instead Khan's department operates as a number-crunching lab.000 variations of the brand name. creative people. "Making the Most of Web Ad Budgets"). and keyword rank. The highest bidder for a word gets its ad placed next to the search results when a Web surfer types that word in a query." The ranking of each of his quarter-million keywords fluctuates during the day as bidding continues. "Google and Yahoo!: Rolling In It"). I want to make sure they find us." he says. we've been able to show through scientific testing and measurement that we can optimize this channel. He sets a goal that he aims to maximize. and we can scale it. Naturally.businessweek. and how much money do they spend? With those numbers. such as cost per http://www." Khan says.000 key words and phrases at the major search engines. but the concept is simple. He now spends $15 million a year. Khan bids for the keyword "E-Loan. but he doesn't want to turn away business from bad spellers. How many visitors from each keyword visit the Web site? How many of them spend money. "The reason that we've been able to grow it. In Khan's case. It enables marketers to track customer behavior. the online lender. Since the search ad boom began. 2006 COVER STORY Online Extra: Search Advertising by the Numbers At online lender E-Loan. cost per click." WORDS' WORTH. But how about "Eloan?" It's not spelled quite right. 10/21/05. looks at the process like a linear programming problem. And then the marketer pays the amount bid when the ad is clicked (see BW Online. Search advertising's biggest advantage comes from the numbers it generates. "It's the same math you use in managing a portfolio. That may sound exotic to mathophobes. that's revenue. Imran Khan is one of them..Online Extra: Search Advertising by the Numbers Close Window JANUARY 23. Calif. But there are plenty of other numbers to throw into the mix. "I get gigabytes of click data. "We've spent a lot of money on building this brand. STAYING ON TARGET. an accountant by training. But this world of relationships and high concepts has been under siege for three years by people up to their elbows in numbers.htm?chan=gl (1 of 2)1/17/2006 2:51:28 AM . Not much of it buys fancy lunches. especially when it comes to buying keywords Advertising. Khan bids on about 250. Each one generates its own return on investment. People like Khan are grabbing ever more of the budgets. he runs the numbers on them. it has been an industry of expansive ideas. In total he has bids on 3. In total." says Ellen Siminoff. and chummy deals hatched in fine restaurants. and it replaces hunches with science. The process goes on and on.

math is the crucial skill. What's more." "If we can get one dollar out of an auto loan. http://www. "But there's a shift in focus from creative to analysis in marketing. He can send them to various versions of the site.htm?chan=gl (2 of 2)1/17/2006 2:51:28 AM . "I call them analyst marketers. This can get complicated.Online Extra: Search Advertising by the Numbers keyword. That drives up the price. 10/24/05." he says. So should we buy the keyword based on potential of auto loan or mortgage loan?" He has his team do the math (see BW." he says. and make adjustments. When I go out and look for search marketers. I look for computer science and economics backgrounds. By Stephen Baker in New York EDITED BY Edited by Phil Mintz Advertising | Special Sections | MarketPlace | Knowledge Centers Terms of Use | Privacy Notice | Ethics Code | Contact Us Copyright 2000. broad word.com/print/magazine/content/06_04/b3968008. "Hard Questions From Google")." for example.businessweek." Khan is continually testing and tweaking the system. It's all based on numbers." In Imran Khan's fast-growing realm of marketing. compare the results. we can get $20 if we do a mortgage loan. he competes with much of the lending industry. it's a big. He measures the online response to E-Loan's TV ads. "Marketing is still considered a soft skill. If he bids for the word "loan. Investment bankers are good. He also tests the effectiveness of the Web site in turning visitors into customers. "A keyword like 'loan' can deliver either of the two products. which means the results are much more complex than a far cheaper targeted keyword phrase such as "Tuscaloosa mortgage. And that's what Khan looks for when he recruits.2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. "A new kind of marketer has emerged. All rights reserved. "SHIFT IN FOCUS." Khan says. He experiments with different types of ads and compares the results.