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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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