Company: ITtoolbox
Contact: George Krautzel, Cofounder and President
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Industry: IT industry community/marketplace (B2B)
Annual revenue: $6,000,000
Number of employees: 50

Quick Read:

ITtoolbox was looking for a way to increase ROI on lead-generation campaigns for its 700 advertisers, among them such big guns as IBM, Microsoft, and Accenture. So ITtoolbox built its own contextual keyword engine, which provided a greater than 50% boost in lead volume and dramatically increased relevancy, boosting conversion rates for advertisers.


ITtoolbox was founded in 1998 with the goal of creating a community that empowered IT professionals to communicate with each other and build a vast best practices repository.

"IT is a knowledge-based industry," says George Krautzel, a cofounder and the president of the company. "Those with the knowledge have the power." The idea behind ITtoolbox was to enable a community of peers to collaboratively create a wide-ranging knowledge base. "We wanted to have people access this knowledge base," says Krautzel, and through word of mouth grow the community virally.

ITtoolbox also wanted to attract top advertisers by delivering a larger number of higher-quality, more targeted leads than contextual advertising on Google or Yahoo can provide.

For instance, advertisers can target community members who are discussing topics relevant to their products in knowledge bases, discussion groups, and blogs. Members subscribe to a pipeline of new whitepapers on their topics of interest and subscribe to whitepaper alerts.

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B.L. Ochman is a social media marketing strategist for S&P 500 companies, including McGraw Hill, IBM, Cendant, and American Greetings. She publishes What's Next Blog and Ethics Crisis, where readers can confess their worst ethics transgressions and others can rate them on a scale of one to ten. She also blogs for MarketingProfs Daily Fix Blog.