Monetizing Digital Content

Better Strategies for Monetizing Digital Offerings: Thinking Out of the Box while Looking across Industry Silos

Better Strategies for Monetizing Digital Offerings: Thinking Out of the Box while Looking across Industry Silos

Introduction: Dr. Howard Morgan, Co-Founder and Partner, First Round Capital

Monetizing digital offerings is a continuing challenge. Advertising can generally generate only some of the revenue required, so customer payments appear to remain essential for most businesses. Freemium was a good starting point, and now soft pay walls are being tested. Shifting music and film from purchase to subscription is emerging as a sea change.

Paul Smurl, Vice President, NYTimes.com

Shawn Price, President, Zuora.com

Betsy Morgan, President, TheBlaze.com

Richard Reisman, President, Teleshuttle Corporation

What else is new? What can be applied across verticals? Do we need to rethink the value proposition and customer relationship? How successful are strategies to apply social influence and “pay what you want”?

This panel discussion looks broadly at how content businesses such as publishing, music, and video are transforming themselves to achieve economic viability:

Among the issues discussed:
– What strategies are they adopting?
– What can these verticals learn from one-another?
– Do new transaction platform services create new opportunities?
– How far out of the box can solutions go?

Panel Moderator:
– Dr. Howard Morgan, Co-Founder and Partner, First Round Capital

Panel Speakers:
– Betsy Morgan, President, TheBlaze.com
– Shawn Price, President, Zuora.com
– Richard Reisman, President, Teleshuttle Corporation
– Paul Smurl, Vice President, NYTimes.com

What’s a Journalist?

Let us introduce you to a can of worms: Are citizen journalists and bloggers real journalists? Can they be?

Over on the Future Journalism Project blog we were asked the following question: I’m a journalism student currently working on an essay where the question is “Are citizen journalists and bloggers ‘real journalists’?” Do you have any views on this?

Our Qualified Response

Oh dear, you’re really opening up a can of worms.

Here’s what I think I think.

But before I think, let me back up and ask, what is this creature you speak of? What is this “real journalist”?

Is it a paid professional who ventures out into the world, reports what’s happening, verifies that reporting, distills and concretizes the results and publishes it through some means for consumption by some audience?

Better, does that professional need to be working for an established organization that somehow defines its mission as “news-gathering”?

It could be. And time once was when only well financed organizations had the means of production and distribution to make it so. And so it was.

But what then do we make of the rest of us, the rabble with our blogs and tweets and podcasts and such? Maybe we’re part of an organization but the organization is small. Maybe we plan to make money at it but we don’t quite do so yet. But maybe we do all that stuff the paid professional at the established organization does. Are we then journalists? And is payment a prerequisite for professionalism? Or are we just amateurs playing a pick-up game of journalism basketball?

Or what of the media teams at advocacy organizations such as non-profits and NGOs that can now have media teams because media is in the hands of all and peer production can be very, very powerful? 

Some say these people can’t be real journalists because they’re advocates working for advocacy organizations. Where’s the objectivity, these people say. But what then of journalists who work for partisan news organizations? Aren’t they just advocates too in different colored clothing?

I don’t ask these questions to be clever. Instead I ask because they’re questions that are being asked. 

And if you asked me really and truly, what is a “real journalist,” I hedge and hedge again and then paraphrase former US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart when he wrote about trying to define porn: “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be journalism, but I know it when I see it.”

So let me get back to what I think I think. 

Never before have we had such complete and total access to the ignorance, depravity, ugliness, mundanity and folly of others than we do now.

And never before have we had access to the wit, wisdom, intelligence, humor and warmth of the human spirit as we do now.

It’s this latter access that enthuses me. The ability to read, watch, listen to and interact with people who have deep, deep knowledge on discrete subjects is something that perpetually amazes and gives me great hope for the information age we are in. I’m optimistic that way.

Are all these people journalists? Or “real journalists” as the case may be?

Most likely not. But they are citizens. And this is much more important. And they often commit acts of journalism as they go about being citizens and then share that with us through their online lives.

This could be on a personal blog, or it could be by submitting material to a CNN iReport, sifting through document data dumps with news organization like the Guardian, or posting videos and photos and short messages about what’s happening on the street in Egypt and Iran and Tunisia and Yemen and Algeria. Or, less dramatically, your backyard.

Last fall I invited Rachel Sterne to guest lecture a class I teach. Rachel is currently the Chief Digital Officer of New York City. At the time she was the founder of a global hyperlocal news site called Ground Report. This is what I wrote about her thoughts at that time:

While readily admitting that her network of reporters can’t compete with mainstream outlets like the Times on access and persistent, overall journalism quality, she does outline how citizen reporting such as that done on Ground Report brings entirely new perspectives and voices to the news cycle. In that way, she thinks publications like Ground Report can function as early warning systems in our future journalism environment.

I hope these stray ideas give you food for thought as you write your own. As I said, your question really opens up a can of worms.

Here’s another one for you: what’s the difference between a reporter and a journalist?

Yours,
Michael 

Top 10 List of Top 10 Lists of 2010 (INCLUDES PICTURES)

Click on Me. You Know You Can’t Resist Finding Out Who Made The Top 10

My other working title for what I will readily admit is a rant was, 10 Things You Can Do To Boycott Top 10 Lists.

It seems like every publication has a Top 10 this or, if they can’t think of 10 things, a Top 5 that. Every clever email marketer does the same thing. You open the email and the headline reads (hold on, digging for one I just got), 5 Awesome Marketing Blogs.

And you think to yourself, holy shit, I MUST click on that link to see what the 5 Awesome Marketing Blogs are. I can’t be the only one who doesn’t know about these 5 handy, must-read marketing blogs.

Online publications and marketers constantly create these lists because, well, we click on them. And they know it. Creating a Top 10 list, of practically any topic, is the easiest, mail it in way to generate lots of links, tweets, retweets, traffic to your site, or clicks on your email marketing headline.

Top 10 Travel Spots for 2011. Top 10 Luxury Yachts. Top 5 Must Eat Restaurants in NYC for the New Year. 10 Beautiful Photos from 2010. 10 Most Important News Stories of 2010, Top 10 Poops I Pooped In 2010 That Resemble Famous Celebrities (WITH PICTURES), 10 Worst Celebrity Plastic Surgeries of 2010, 10 Most Important Tweets of 2010 (I’m looking at you @twitter).

I could go on and on all day long coming up with Top 10 list ideas – they’re ridiculously easy to brainstorm – and have an intern write the Top 10s for each list. We can publish one Top 10 per day and wait for millions of you to click on it, page by page, from 1 to 10. And me, I get to deliver advertisement after advertisement to you and show my advertisers page views popping like popcorn.

So I want to propose a novel concept, especially as we near the end of the year and everyone creates their best of 2010 lists as an easy way to drive traffic to their sites and page view stats that are, well, 5 – 10 times as robust as they should be due to the very nature of a Top 5 or Top 10 list.

Please boycott Top 10 lists. Restrain yourself. Hold back on the bug to light (or bug to pooh, or bug to a 500 watt light bulb placed in pooh) urge to click on a Top 10 list. You can do it, I know you can. And if we all refrain from clicking, even for a month, like during lent, it may not matter or make a difference in the grand scheme of life, but it will make me happy. Don’t you want me to be happy?

* NOTE: The arts and crafts part of this article, creating the headline collage, actually took me longer than writing the rant itself.
** NOTE: I’m interested to see what kind of Search Engine Friendly Traffic I get from people actually searching for things like Top 10 Male Enhancement Products or Top 10 Spas and Yoga Retreats in America. If you unsuspectingly came here based on an actual search, be bold and let me know in the comments section below what you actually searched for.

Future Journalism Project Does NYC

Reporting from New York on disruption and opportunity in American journalism — a short video update on who we’ve been talking to and what you can expect to see.

Over the past few months we’ve been exploring current disruptions and opportunities in American journalism by interviewing great minds about their thoughts on — and efforts in — a remarkably fluid and changing landscape. The video above introduces some of whom we’ve been talking to.

Following the FJP

Project Background

Our goal is to launch a Web site in early 2011 that houses these interviews so that those interested in the future of American news media have a deep resource through which they can explore changing newsrooms, business models, education and the stakes all this has on democracy itself.

Interested in Collaborating? We are Too.

A good place to start is joining us at our Tumblr blog at FutureJournalismProject.org. A few of us are posting there now. A few more would be great. If you’re passionate about the changing journalism landscape and want to join in, send us an email and tell us a bit about yourself.

We’re also looking for hacks and hackers of all stripes:

Sponsorship Opportunities

Interested in being a Future Journalism Project Sponsor? We are too!

Contact us and we’ll let you know how we plan to integrate Sponsors across the Web Site, the Podcast Series and feature length documentary planned for 2011.

You can learn more about the scope of the project here (PDF).

News and Updates

You can follow our progress on Tumblr or on Twitter (@futureJproject), or send us an email at hello@futurejournalismproject.org.

Video Still: Heading for the Scrap Heap by John O’Connell via Flickr. Used with permission.

Richard Branson has a new Project

Richard Branson to launch iPad-only magazine. Smooth move or vanity play?

Richard Branson will be announcing Virgin’s new iPad-only magazine today in New York. Called Project, Branson believes it will be “a paperless ‘revolutionary multimedia’ publication.”

Others could call it a nice vanity piece that will compete with Rupert Murdoch’s similarly planned iPad-only magazine.

Project will focus on entertainment, design, business, travel and international culture and be run by Branson’s daughter Holly.

Citizen Journalism as Early Warning System

Ground Report Founder and CEO Rachel Sterne talks citizen journalism and an interesting question arises: in our evolving journalism landscape, can sites such as hers serve as early warning systems to mainstream media organizations?

Are citizen journalists more agile than their professional counterparts, often breaking news before the big boys have had time to react?

About this Screencast

This screencast is from a course I teach at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs that focusses on how NGO’s, non-profits, governmental agencies and citizen journalists use Internet and mobile technologies to communicate with core constituencies.

Future lectures as the semester progresses will be posted here.

The answer is quantitative and anecdotal rather than qualitative, and looks in part on how people use social tools such as Twitter and Facebook to report on the world around them. It also includes content produced for citizen journalism sites such as upstarts EveryBlock, Global Voices and Neighborhoodr as well as mainstream initiatives such as CNN’s iReport and AOL’s high profile Patch network of community news sites.

Social Web followers are familiar with the fact that the first image of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River appeared on Twitter; Facebook’s use by activists to report on protests in Moldova, Colombia, Venezuela and elsewhere; and Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and other social networks as prime channels for the world to learn what was happening in the streets after the contested 2009 Iranian elections.

More recently, Jose L. Leyva wrote about how citizens in Monterrey, Mexico are taking to social networks— and creating new ones — in order to document drug cartel violence.

Twitter, Facebook and other online forums have also become a primary source of information in a society in which self-censorship and anonymity have become one resort for journalists covering the drug war to avoid threats by cartels or harassment by Mexican authorities. Social media platforms have also become a place in which people eager know what’s going on the streets can get real-time information.

Interesting too are anecdotes given by Rachel Sterne, Founder and CEO of Ground Report, a global citizen journalism site launched in 2006. Speaking to a class I teach at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, Rachel put her site head to head with the New York Times to demonstrate how her network of 9,000 reporters has broken news ranging from January 2008 suicide attacks in Peshawar to Albino killings in Tanzania.

While readily admitting that her network of reporters can’t compete with mainstream outlets like the Times on access and persistent, overall journalism quality, she does outline how citizen reporting such as that done on Ground Report brings entirely new perspectives and voices to the news cycle. In that way, she thinks publications like Ground Report can function as early warning systems in our future journalism environment.

This idea dovetails nicely with a conversation I had with Mitchell Stephens, Journalism Professor at NYU and author of A History of News, over the summer for the Future Journalism Project documentary I’m working on. At the time he said something counterintuitive that makes more sense as I’ve thought about it over time: Journalists, he said, have to get out of the news business.

By this he meant focussing less time on being a “reporter” telling the world about the daily events that are going on, and more time being a “journalist” contextualizing the significance of what is going on. In other words, in a social media landscape where we already know the who, what, where and when, journalists and news organizations need to harness their scarce resources on delivering the how and why.

Perhaps, as Rachel suggests, citizen journalism sites such as hers can increasingly fill the early warning reporting role. As she says in her presentation above, her contributors aren’t necessarily amateurs, they’re often journalists in their own countries or subject matter experts with deep knowledge of the specific verticals they’re writing about.

In Rachel’s screencast above, she talks about Ground Report, its founding, how it works and who it reaches. She also offers insight into the technical and sociological changes occurring across the the Social Media Landscape. The screencast and her slideshow are available for download below.

Download Files

Download this Screencast

Right Click (CTRL-click on a Mac) to Download.

Image Credit: James Nash via Flickr/Creative Commons.

San Francisco Postcard from the FJP

Greetings from the Future Journalism Project. We started filming in San Francisco and made our way around the Bay talking education, business models, journalism practice and journalism’s role in democracy. Here are a few minutes of what we found.

I was in San Francisco earlier this month working on the Future Journalism Project. This is a multiplatform documentary we recently announced.

Follow the FJP

For news and updates join me on Twitter.
 

Funny though, as I begin shooting interviews and talking to people, opportunities begin to expand. Or at least ideas of what’s possible do.

Before heading to San Francisco, the idea behind the Future Journalism Project was to create a feature length documentary and a Web site that holds all the source footage so that those interested can watch interviews with those we film in their entirety.

Now that I’m back and have discussed the project with ScribeLabs and producers here at ScribeMedia, we’re beginning to recognize that the opportunities are so much more.

Here’s what we’re now thinking. In addition to producing a traditional documentary, we want to explore the possible. This includes:

  • Dedicated Web Site: the Future Journalism Project Web site will hold video of all interviews conducted. Each interview will be edited down to a series of 4-6 minute segments organized by subject matter and presented in an interface similar to video-centric sites such as YouTube, Hulu and TED. The goal is to let site visitors explore the ideas of individuals and also dive deeply into specific topics as discussed from a variety of perspectives. Mechanisms for community interactions and content submissions will be in place so that these interviews seed an ongoing conversation.
  • Podcast Series: Each Future Journalism Project interview conducted by the producers will be made available and presented in its entirety as an audio podcast. Listeners can subscribe to the entire series or download podcasts with the interviewees they are most interested in hearing from.
  • The Book: A book of essays written by leading thinkers is planned to accompany the project. The subjects and themes explored will echo and expand upon the video content, with authors focusing on Journalism Education, Journalism Business Models, Changing Journalism Practices and Journalism and Democracy.

    The book will appear in both print and digital versions.

This may sound obnoxiously aspirational but the truth of the matter is that in this day and age there’s really no reason that the above shouldn’t be seen as starting points with pretty much any enterprise reporting activity, documentaries most definitely included.

With the technologies and services available to us it’s really just a matter of opening our minds to the possible and seizing opportunities as they present themselves.

Gear & Gadgets

Our San Francisco Gear Included:
• Camera: Sony EX1
• Lights: Lowel Tota-Lights
• Editing: Final Cut
• Filters: Red Giant
• Audio: Soundtrack Pro 
• Sound Design: Reason
 

What I’m doing may be near and dear to my heart but in the end it’s simply content. Open source platforms such as WordPress and Drupal will let me organize it, video service providers like Vimeo and Blip will let me present it, on demand publishers like Lulu will let me create books about it, iTunes lets me podcast it, Creative Commons lets me license it. Really, what more could a producer ask for?

These are the conversations we’re having back at the Labs, conversations guided by the opportunity of digital possibility.

That said, I hope you follow this project for two distinct reasons: one, journalism in the United States is at a crossroads and we hope to provide fodder for discussion and, two, our very open business model is something we believe in and think is applicable across most subject matter.

The video above include a fraction of the ideas we captured in San Francisco. Stay tuned as we continue our explorations.

About the Interviewees

While not everyone we talked to appear in the above video, in order of appearance those that do are:

  • Dave Cohn: Founder, Spot.us.
  • Dan Gillmor: Director, director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
  • Ted Glasser: Professor of Communication, Stanford University. Co-author, Custodians of Conscience: Investigative Journalism and Public Virtue.
  • Richard Gingras: CEO, Salon Media Group.
  • Gabriel Sama: 2010 Knight Journalism Fellow, Stanford University.
  • Mark Luckie: Multimedia Producer, Center for Investigative Reporting. Creator, 10,000 Words.

Links go to a their Web sites and/or biographies.

Cover image: San Francisco Spectator by VancityAllie via Creative Commons/Flickr.

Present Like a Pro: Presentation Skills Workshop

The human brain forgets over 80% of what it heard after a day. What will your prospects remember from your sales meeting?

The human brain forgets over 80% of what it heard after a day. So began the Present Like a Pro workshop for media, publishing and advertising professionals at the IAB.

Given that many of us make presentations to prospects on a weekly basis, that statistic merits consideration as we develop our decks, often jam packed with information, and hone our story-telling skills.

Simply put, what 20% of your presentation will your prospects remember the next day? Was your presentation memorable? Did the audience retain the right information?

The workshop covered everything from how to open, to how to engage the audience, how to sell your stuff, and how to close.

Fortunately, I got to watch the workshop a second time, so I retained more than 20% of what the instructor, Anne Miller, had to say.

In no particular order, some tidbits from the 3+ hour workshop, which can be purchased as a video download from the IAB Online Professional Development Portal.

Your cover slide should state the objective, rather than the ever boring “ Capabilities Presentation to .” For my company, the title slide would read something like “Increasing ROI with ScribeLabs” or “Growing your business with ScribeLabs”.

Ask questions as you’re going through the presentation. It not only keeps the audience engaged, it confirms for the presenter whether people agree / disagree, understand, or are even paying attention, so that the presenter can change course mid-presentation for whatever reason.

Pro athletes don’t run upfield or upcourt with their heads down. Neither should a presenter ramble through a presentation without constantly keeping an eye on the other players in the room and soliciting verbal and body language feedback.

Weave in good metaphors, anecdotes or stories. While you have to deliver all your key points and messages, people will only remember 10% – 20% of what you said the next day. What does stay in people’s minds is the great story you told, or the great analogy. An analogy or a story also helps people connect the dots. The dots in this case are the bullet points you are delivering and what they mean for the customers business.

Visuals reinforce points. The visuals can either be literal graphics on a PowerPoint, or a picture you paint in people’s minds of something that they can recall from past experiences.

Make it about them, not you. Don’t start by saying “In my presentation, I’m going to tell you why we’re awesome…”. Instead, start by making it inclusive, “In our conversation this morning, we’re going to talk about some issues and challenges you face in your business, and some opportunities to drive your business forward.” Make it about them, not about you.

if you are an information delivering kind of person when you give presentations, and inundate people with bullet point after bullet point of important information, you have to keep in mind that people’s brains are programmed to want things to add up to something. So after spewing off 20 points, sum it all up for your audience (the “why should you care what I’m talking about” part of the presentation).

And say, literally, “In summary, YOU’re facing a lot of challenges…” or “In summary, YOU want to reach a new market…”

And then have a summary page. The title of that page should again be about them, not your services. “Grow YOUR business with US.” And then repeat the benefits they will get or the features you want them to remember.

Good summary phrases…

“the key takeaway is…”
“the bottom line is…”

“Again”, or “what this means is…”, are good trigger words.

Then hit them with the next step. “So if this makes sense, the next step is…” The next step has to be something the other person is going to do by a deadline, such as, “Review the proposal, call me with any questions, and I’ll follow up with you on Tuesday.” You should know what your desired next step is before getting to the meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to push the sales process along to get to that next point.

If you think you’re losing your audience, if they look bored or indifferent, you have to shake up the room, like a basketball coach calling a time out to settle the team down (I’m watching the Celtics blow a first half lead to the Lakers right now). “My sense is that what I am talking about is not what you’re interested in.” Take responsibility for losing their interest. There are 3 possible responses if you call a meeting “time out”:

1. You’re right, we’re not interested.
– Well, what are you interested in? I’m here for you.
2. No, we are interested (we just don’t look super excited…ever)
– OK, then let’s keep on going.
3. You’re right, half our staff was just laid off, so everyone’s mind is elsewhere.
– Well, do you want to continue, or would you rather reschedule when things settle down?

You shouldn’t be afraid to stop the conversation and ask for a reality check. After all, your goal is not to bore them and talk about something that isn’t of interest. Saying this out loud helps reset the tone of the room and the conversation.

The title of each slide should be the point you want them to remember from the slide, rather than something generic such as “Audience” or “Capabilities”.

PowerPoint Tip

When you’re presenting if you hit the “B” key on your keyboard PowerPoint will go to a blank screen. Hit any button to return to the current PowerPoint slide. This is a good way to continue an engaging discussion without losing people’s visual attention to the slide. Keep them focused on you and the conversation.

Overall, it is a great workshop that, while appropriate for anyone who makes presentations, is targeted at media, publishing and advertising professionals.

You can purchase the video from the workshop at the IAB Professional Development Web site. Well worth the $95.

Magazine iPad Apps? We’ve Played this Game Before

The holy grail for Web designers has always been the pixel perfect layout afforded in print design. Some publications jumped to Flash in order to replicate the print experience. That experiment was a failure. Enter the iPad.

GQ iPad sales figures came out the other day. They’re a bit confused. Initial reports read that 365 December “Men of the Year” iPad issue were sold. Later, VentureBeat clarified and wrote that 52,000 GQ Apple apps sold since December.

It’s a long way from 365 to 52,000 and as VentureBeat points out, GQ publisher Condé Nast doesn’t have a breakdown of which apps sold on which device. Meaning, Apple doesn’t provide analytics for anyone — let alone the publisher — to know whether they’re having success on the iPad or iPhone/Touch. This is a problem of course, and one that mobile analytics provider Flurry tries to reconcile.

But while 365 might be low, the iPad as magazine delivery system isn’t going to be the publishing savior hyped by hopeful insiders over the past few months. It’s been said before and is worth saying again: thinking a device saves an industry is a losing proposition.

Outside the novelty factor, few consumers who’ve left print for the Web are going to start paying for a magazine just because it’s on a new form factor. Once the novelty wears off, readers will settle back in where the content is free.

And while novelty can add incremental income, incremental income isn’t significant income. Listen to what GQ VP/Publisher Pete Hunsinger told the magazine trade publication min, “This costs us nothing extra: no printing or postage. Everything is profit, and I look forward to the time when iPad issue sales become a major component to our circulation.”

Hunsinger’s general point stands: digital product distribution is a great thing, but there are development and marketing costs with an iPad app so production isn’t a freebie. Besides, who among us expects him to come out, scratch his head and complain, “365? WTF?”

But compared to the hype of the iPad as a potential publishing bonanza, the implication of GQ’s sales numbers — be they 365 or 1,365 — are disappointing although I hedge with the caveat that it’s very early in the iPad’s lifecycle (about a million sold), and in publisher attempts to create something of value that people will pay for.

Most I talk to say it’s not magazine applications that are interesting, but video from Netflix and productivity applications like Apple’s iWork suite. This leads me to wonder if trying to recreate the magazine experience on a digital device is a bit of a fool’s errand. If it’s content people want, a Web browser sits about anywhere these days for people to get it.

Besides, we’ve played this game before.

The holy grail for Web designers has been the pixel perfect layout afforded in print design. A number of years ago some publications jumped to Flash in order to replicate print layouts but that experiment went nowhere. Publishing services like Issuu and Zinio are still trying to make that model successful today by giving content developers the means to replicate their print design in a Flash interface.

The results? Novel and interesting, but clunky from a usability standpoint. Don’t believe me? Try Sporting News Today.

There’s no doubt that magazine iPad apps do make content visually beautiful, but publishers are essentially asking readers to pay for a design iteration. Are there really enough people with such nuanced design sensibilities to make that a business model?

Of course, design and photo heavy magazines have a leg up in this regard. While Steve Jobs might be offering a world free from porn, I see Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue selling well. So too titles like Wallpaper, Dwell and Monocle that rely on the visual to begin with.

For the rest of us, our iPad apps need to be something in addition to content already available on the Web.

This includes supplemental material (eg., think datavisualizations and interactive graphics, photos that didn’t make the print or Web editions, audio or video clips, etc.) and actual applications (eg., geo-based and social networking services surrounding the content) that people will pay their few dollars for because they can’t get them anywhere else.

If we don’t do that, if we don’t add true and differentiating value separate from the content we already offer, we just spin our wheels playing with the next new thing that’s shiny and bright.

Interview: Anne Hunter, comScore

Advice for publishers when competing for Ad dollars from brand marketers.

I interviewed Anne Hunter, VP of Advertising Effectiveness Products, comScore, after a seminar she led on Ad Effectiveness to a packed house of publishers, advertisers, agencies and ad solution providers at the IAB.

One of my takeaways from the session was that a lot of times brands will come to their agencies with multiple goals for a campaign, such as increasing awareness and driving coupons. Often, the strategy and execution for one goal is very different than that for another goal. So it is important to push back and get the advertiser to focus on a clear, explicit goal, rather than a group of often conflicting goals.

The end result may be a few initiatives, each focused on a clear goal, such as raising awareness, rather than a single initiative that tries to be all things and ends up succeeding at nothing.

I asked Anne a few questions, answers in the video above:

  • How do online publishers and Ad platforms convey to brand marketers the true value of online advertising to get them to allocate more budget to digital?
  • What data should we be showing advertisers and what is the challenge in showing it to them?
  • What advice would you give to a publisher that is competing for online Ad dollars from brand marketers and the agencies that represent them (e.g. Sports Illustrated vs. ESPN)? How can they gain an edge in a bake-off?
  • For campaigns gone wrong, how often is it actually a campaign gone right, but the wrong things measured, and therefore perceived as a failure?
  • What is the current state of in-video advertising?
  • You spent years @ Tacoda. When might behavioral advertising be more appropriate for a brand than contextual advertising and vice-versa?