Online calendar service provider Quaartz, Santa Clara, Calif., today announced a partnership with Brand3, a company that enables Internet firms to provide free branded ISP services.
Quaartz provides organizations and companies with free online calendars for their members. Brand3 of San Francisco will now be able to add this feature to its suite of offerings as a co-branded service.
In exchange, Brand3 will supply Quaartz the technology to provide an icon that will appear on users' desktops whether or not they are online. Users can click on this icon to access their calendars. Previously, customers could only access their calendars via the Quaartz Web site or the sponsoring site.
"The tattoo is one of the elements that [now] distinguishes us from other online calendar services," said Quaartz CEO Tom Ku, referring to the desktop icon. Users can opt in to receive the tattoo when they sign up for the calendar; it is not automatic. The icon is cached on the user's hard drive.
In addition, ads displayed on the service are targeted and time sensitive, and ads and other promotional materials, which appear on screen to the right of the calendar, disappear after the designated occasion is over. "For example, ads for sales on Saturday and Sunday will appear before the weekend and disappear after," Ku said. "Our emphasis is on moving away from typical banner ads. We plan to integrate relevant programming and promotion offers."
An example was the Kennedy Center calendar carrying a listing for a Vivaldi festival at the Center and a recommendation to buy a Vivaldi concerto CD.
(Other companies offer targeted and time-based ads as well, such as Quaartz competitor eCal of Philadelphia. According to Paul Mancini, director of marketing for eCal, "We run targeted ads on many of our sites based on user demographics and personal preferences. We also run ads based on time considerations.")
Quaartz customers can access their calendars either through their desktop icons, via the Quaartz site or from the site of the company or organization sponsoring the calendar. To access their calendars, users input their names and passwords. The calendars can also be downloaded to a customer's PDA.
Quaartz has landed a wide spectrum of clients including the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Republican National Committee, the Film Arts Foundation, the Communication Workers of America, the Washington, D.C.-based United Service Organizations, the U.S. Chambers of Commerce and Conseco.
Revenue generated by sales from ads on a given organization's calendar is divided between Quaartz and the organization. This plus a charge for Quaartz's ASP services is the company's revenue model.
"Quartz's product offering adds significant value to Brand3 solutions. By partnering with Quaartz, Brand3 can bolster our offering to brandholders with a
private label Web calendaring system, and Quaartz can bring Brand3's resources to the table," said Ruben Lopez, a Brand3 spokesperson.