Beyond the Banner: Online Advertising – Panel Discussion

This panel was primarily made up of publishers (not marketers/advertisers) who (I assume) are struggling to make revenue on their online properties as traditional print readership declines.  In the keynote we heard that more and more consumers (especially younger ones) are increasingly getting their news online.  Additionally consumer sites like blogs and other user generated content are increasingly competing with traditional media for attention.  In order for traditional publications to survive they need to find ways to monetize their online content.

This panel included:

Doug Spak, VP Connection Planning, Northlich

Chris Strong, Territory Online Sales Manager, Cincinnati.com

Tim Glover: Digital Media Manager, Empower Media Marketing

Jim Getgey, Regional Sales Director, Digital Platforms, Hearst-Argyle Television Stations

Rob McCracken, General Sales Manager New Media, Bonneville Cincinnati

Engagement = relevance – that is what we (publishers) need to do a better job at. How do you engage people by giving relevant ads? To do this we need to learn more about our consumers and what they are doing.

What do you have to do to ad value to your website beyond just a website for a radio station? For example a radio station can’t “outdo” the local news channels. What they can do is create sites that are “hyper local” and provide something above and beyond what the other sites are doing.

Relevance is KEY

Banners need to be relevant. One of the issues/barriers to this is the difficulty in purchasing across multiple sites; we heard at the keynote yesterday about quality issues with ad networks. How does the industry need to evolve to create a system for media buyers where they can purchase more relevant ads in a scalable way?

  • Gannett is streamlining sites with a standard platform
  • Bonneville pays people with “points” for them to provide information – consumers specifically answer questions about what they are interested in so that the ads can be better targeted.
  • Online you are speaking with 1 person and “hypothetically” can change the message for each person (ie. with targeting etc)
  • Where does the message go – targeting options are greatly improved.
  • Reach the target – contextual or content focuses on impact moments. When the consumer is more likely to be interested in your brand. Sweepstakes you can go to a network and blanket people. For specific objectives you need to make buys that are more relevant when consumers are looking for that specific content.

Revenue Generation

How can websites generate revenue beyond just banner ads?

  • There are many local banner campaigns that still work, but in order to continue to be relevant and provide ROI more is needed.
  • Some news sites are doing advertorial videos right now – they shoot and script them for the clients. By focusing on content and providing information vs. simply advertising these can provide real value.
  • Gannett is launching a local music site for local bands to upload music and compete. Creating niche sites like this can provide unique value to advertisers.
  • “The demise of the banner is greatly exaggerated” – Rob McCracken. Banner ads are going to be here, and if they are relevant they will continue to be successful.

– Krista Neher

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