Branded Networks: Cultivating Consumer, Advertiser Trust
Why are big Web publishers forming their own ad networks? Certainly, these brands want to expand their reach, a move which benefits both themselves and the smaller publishers in their network, but Christine Cook, SVP Digital Sales for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, believes that consumers also benefit from Marthaâ€™s Circle, MSLOâ€™s ad network.
â€œI think consumers are increasingly looking to different publishers to edit the Web for them,â€ Cook said at the OMMA AdNets show in NY on Thursday. â€œWhen you really want information, you go to points that you trust. In a certain way weâ€™re all (editing the Web) for our audience.â€
Forbes.com CEO Jim Spanfeller agreed, saying he liked the idea of â€œa brand as a filter,â€ but one that also benefits the advertising community. The idea, he said, is to gain reach and enhance contextualization for advertisers, who can effectively use branded networks like Forbesâ€™ as â€œguideposts.â€ David Rittenhouse, Senior Partner and Media Director of Neo@Ogilvy, agreed that branded networks are â€œreassuringâ€ from an advertiser standpoint. The technical ownership of those sites may not matter to an advertiser, he said, â€œbut the quality matters the world.â€
Cook added that to maintain advertiser and consumer trust, branded networks must necessarily remain small. â€œThereâ€™s not a lot of editing if itâ€™s too big,â€ she said. â€œIf what youâ€™re offering is too massive, itâ€™s really hard to keep your arms around it.â€