In a prior post, I hypothesized that one of the reasons that publishers have too much unsold inventory is because of the overall lack of "self-serve" systems. Buyers simply do not have access to the publisher's standard products -- common ad products such as IAB banners and other basic products that a publisher offers to its customers -- without the assistance of a salesperson. This creates friction in the sales process that keeps publishers from maximum sell-through-rates. Display advertising needs to adopt a more direct approach to sales if it is to fully reach its potential.
Question from the mailbag: Why can't I just cherry-pick placements that I need for my media plan? I've been working with a direct response client for a while now, and I know what works. When I RFP sites, I can't just get what I want. I have to buy other placements that don't perform in order to get what does. Lucky for them, the ROI is still there but why is this the case?
The bizarre concept that is newstainment has crept into the American lexicon and bombarded our TV sets. Ideological slants on the news, coupled with maniacal talking heads aiming for shock value over substance, are dangerous and growing trends. The misguided notion that it is okay to treat news as entertainment -- as long as it captures viewers -- has far-reaching ramifications for our democracy, and for online publishing as well.
From the mailbag: Hi, I'm a developer trying to gain traction in both the agency and publishing worlds. I have a product that I think can make a real difference in how the business works, but getting traction isn't easy. This may seem like Sales 101, but please share any tips for getting me in the door.
Throughout my career, I have always heard how a great salesperson can sell anything, but I have never bought into this concept. I can't sell ice to an Eskimo. I can't sell cars, homes or shower curtain rings. I can only sell media. And within media, I can only sell a well-branded content property. It gets even worse for my career opportunities: I can only sell media for a well-branded content property that has sold me as a consumer.