• Seven Ways To Improve Audience Targeting
    As an online publisher, you probably use audience targeting: whether done through algorithms or manually by an editor, the aim of audience targeting is to increase the probability that your site visitors will read more of your content. Here are some reflections and suggestions based on my experience as a consumer of digital media, and as someone who's spent a couple of decades studying consumer behavior.
  • The Wrong Answer To The Final Question
    Sales trainers like to breathe in media sales at 40,000 feet and then pontificate on how digital salespeople need to be more compassionate, consultative sellers who don't sell ads but rather offer solutions to clients' problems. The reality is that sales calls happen on the ground with media buyers. They often sound like the following example, where the problem clients want to solve with their online ad dollars is how to drive more exposure to the most expensive ad the client has ever built: its own Web site.
  • What The Shakeup Of Content Engines & Rise of Programmatic Mean For Publishers
    When it comes to online publishing, every pixel counts. Maximizing the potential of digital real estate is an ongoing challenge. Often getting visitors to a website is the first hurdle, but keeping their attention and finding engaging monetization opportunities continues to be an ongoing struggle. A popular tool in this arena is content modules on article pages. Many publishers implement content modules for the recirculation of visitors within their website. Some use them as a source of revenue. And still more use them for both.
  • Navigation Is Broken
    Last year I shared my opinion that web surfing is broken: finding relevant content online has become a challenge, both for those who produce content (publishers) and those who consume content (readers). This is a macroscopic problem, meaning that it affects all online publishers and all readers: there is simply too much content out there. More recently I have come to realize that a parallel problem exists at the micro level: navigation of individual sites is also broken.
  • Content Is King?
    Content is king, but not for long. Like most stories of overthrown monarchies, this will be an inside job. This tale includes an army of publishers and treason committed by the king's own flesh and blood.
  • 'Tis The Season For...?
    I have always loved the holiday season. But, despite all the joy and merriment, many studies show that anxiety and depression spike during this time of year -- kind of strange, right? But when you think about it, this dichotomy makes sense. Many conflicting emotions come out in December. For online publishers, it's no different. Rushing to finish strong in 2014 is accompanied by trying to thoughtfully plan for 2015. And, perhaps nothing is more confusing or conflicting for publishers than their programmatic business. Is it a good thing? Is it a bad thing? How will the year end? What ...
  • #BlackandWhite
    Last week I had an afternoon meeting scheduled with a new colleague. We had planned to meet at the Equinox cafeteria at Rockefeller Center, but because of all the police security in place for the tree-lighting ceremony that night, we relocated to a restaurant opposite Grand Central Station instead. As we wrapped up our meeting, I looked at my phone and learned that the Staten Island grand jury had not indicted the police officer accused of killing Eric Garner.
  • Native: Three Digital Steps To Avoid Print's Mistakes
    Native is the way forward for brands in communicating messages with engaged consumers. Trouble is, all the issues that have plagued print "advertorials" are threatening to turn a gleaming promise into a poisoned chalice.
  • The Risks Of Promoting Popular Content
    These days, nearly every publisher site promotes content that is most popular based on measures such as "most read" or "most shared." Whether this process is automated or manual, the idea is to give preferential visibility to those articles clearly of interest to the site's readers. The reasoning goes something like this: If a lot of people are liking - and sharing - this article, then let's make sure more people see it. Presumably this results in a greater number of clicks and a lower bounce rate. But the practice of promoting a publisher's own popular content can have a ...
  • The Oatmeal Doctrine
    I judge a restaurant by the quality of its oatmeal. Earlier this week, I had oatmeal at Pershing Square Caf, where I enjoyed an exchange of ideas with a very talented publishing executive -- and of course, a very solid bowl of oatmeal. The oatmeal at Pershing Square Caf costs $14. I can find better oatmeal at Scotty's Diner on 39th & Lexington for four bucks, but at Pershing Square, you pay for more than a bowl of oats, you pay for the environment.
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