The debate on whether to use ad networks continues to occupy agenda slots at industry conferences. This feud of sorts is far from sorted out. My own issues with ad networks are clear and unusually personal. Their very existence makes me profoundly uncomfortable. Ad networks foster an environment for lying and addiction.
It is an aphorism that selling begins with customer knowledge. The customer, after all, is king -- or queen, as the case may be. May I disagree? It is the customer of the customer who rules, after all, isn't it? In other words, the starting point for successful selling online is deep audience insight. And here clickstream metrics cannot give you the answers. There is no substitution for audience knowledge and insight. You know, the kind of understanding that comes from actually speaking to them, listening to them, engaging in dialogue with them.
Technically speaking, the difference between evolutionary and revolutionary is just one single letter. When speaking of technology, however, the implications of each word are worlds apart. While an evolutionary product is a step forward from where you currently stand, a revolutionary product forges an entirely new path. It is different, bold, and risky -- and also has the potential to be highly rewarding. While the evolution in online advertising continues, we seem to be falling short when it comes to revolutionary ideas.
If your primary revenue stream is advertising, and you cannot afford a single salesperson -- you have a hobby, not a business.We are continually told that small publishers do not have the scale to sell direct. We are told that those publishers cannot create direct relationships with advertisers. We are told that they have to sell through ad networks. The popular notion that it is okay to not have your own salespeople is cute, idealistic, and totally wrong.