I’ve been spending a lot of time over the last few weeks working on TechWhirl’s advertising program. Currently, we have sponsorships, which are large money long term relationships but as of now there’s nothing for smaller companies who need or want a smaller relationship.
The work has been some classic MBA work with a hint of benchmarking, a little strategy and marketing. I know enough to not expect a great day of data so I’ve made do with what I could find; and what I could assume. As of today, I think we have our upper bound on the amount we can charge the market.
Pricing aside, online advertising sucks. The placement sucks. The designs suck. It’s as if all the bad things about TV ads were magically transported to the web but without 99% of the entertainment value. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Our philosophy with our magazine is that we want to respect the reader with great content and a nice and elegant design. Part of this means that we have to avoid flashing ads, rotating ads, and anything designed to “interupt” the reader. Why in the hell would we want to “interupt” the reader – to me that just irritates the reader and doesn’t actually get a quality click for the advertising company?
Our first version of the advertising will be a field experiment into good placement so that a reader sees the ad at the moment they’re ready to make the decision to click. Either they’ve already read the article and they’re ready to do something else, or they were searching for that company or product to begin with. I certainly wish we had more cash in hand to allow us to try and build a better advertising placement model, but since my partner and I couldn’t live with ourselves if we didn’t do what is right, I guess we’ll have to bootstrap innovative designs as well.