16 April 2006

Jeff Jarvis: More on the Open Ad Marketplace

Here is Jeff's reply to my note (thanks, Jeff!):

I may be expressing this badly... and I certainly may be naive... but I do believe that such a system could instead improve the value and revenue for highly targeted and high-quality blogs and other media.

I think you are right when it comes to plain CPM and CPC advertising that can appear anywhere: Advertisers like Pay My Bills and Vonage, for example, tend to buy tonnage and judge those purchases soley on performance, right?

Up the food chain from that are branding advertisers who do want to appear on quality sites that are relevant. But I've heard from agencies that they find it difficult -- impossible, actually -- to put together a critical mass of audience that makes it worthwhile to make the buy in our medium as opposed to other media. The open system I'm proposing would make it easier for them to both find the right sites and get the apples-to-apples measurement they require.

At the top of the pyramid are highly targeted sites and here I believe the marketplace adds the greatest value because it allows advertisers to find the "perfect" sites for them and pay for them. They will pay for perfect and, at the same time, will find more efficiency because they found the ideal environments.

How does this affect networks? Well, again, I may be naive and you can tell me far better but I think that this allows networks to be more flexible and to provide one-stop-shopping to agencies: When you sell an advertiser on a specific flight and need to get more "perfect" inventory, you can do so -- but not be responsible for those added sites all the time. On the other end of things, if you have excess inventory (God forbid!), you can put it out in the marketplace.

This is not entirely a frictionless, rational, performance-based system -- though it is, that, too. Instead, this is an infranstructure for advertisers for higher value advertising and for advertisers to find the critical mass and metrics they demand in trusted, quality, endemic, targeted, and sometimes ad hoc networks of sites.

Or so I hope.


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